Released this week, Port Askaig 14 Year Old Bourbon Cask is a new bottling from a distillery in the north-east corner of Islay, better known for its unpeated whisky. Sounds like Bunnahabhain to me.
It is peated, distilled in 2004 and as always it is a limited release, composed from 11 first-fill bourbon casks (Port Askaig batches are never bigger than 40 casks).
Port Askaig 14 yo ‘Bourbon Cask’ 2004 (45,8%, Elixir Distillers 2018, first-fill bourbon casks)
Nose: quite bright and orchardy, think juicy lemons, stewed pears and apples. Hints of lager and coastal notes (sea spray, shells on the beach). Ink and gentle peat which works nicely alongside the bright fruits.
Mouth: smoky and earthy, showing plum sweetness and crème brûlée before moving towards crushed peppercorns and a charred, slightly acrid note. Malty notes, mild peat, all-spice. Slightly less balanced than on the nose.
Finish: long, with salted caramel and brandy poached pear.
Sometimes I have difficulties with peated (Moine) Bunnahabhain, especially when they release it with an unnecessary wine finish. This bourbon version is gentle, fruity, and really sparkles. Around € 80 from The Whisky Exchange.