Update: also check my Abhainn Araig and Mòine 2004 Tokaji review
Distilled on the 28th of October 1998, this limited edition whisky spent just over 20 years maturing in a classic ex-bourbon cask. At least, that’s what I think as the distillery doesn’t specify. In November 2019 it moved to a French Calvados cask to finish for almost two years.
Bunnahabhain 23 yo 1998 Calvados Cask Finish (49,7%, OB for Feis Ile 2022)
Nose: fairly neutral aromas, a little on the sweet side. I get lots of cut yellow apples, as well as ripe pears and toffee. Hints of moss and heather honey. Some herbs and hay. Sweet beer. Subtle coastal notes. All quite nice but it’s a little middle-of-the-road, we expected more.
Mouth: a similar sweetness. Bready cereals, yellow and red apples, alongside floral honey. Mid-palate it develops a herbal bitterness as well as tangy white pepper. A drop of cough syrup. Subtle nutty notes towards the end.
Finish: not very long, still on (lightly oxidized) apples, oak spice and a faint floral touch.
The obvious apple flavours make it a bit bland and the slight astringency doesn’t help either. The Whisky Exchange is selling this Calvados Cask, but it’s not worth the asking price in my opinion. It’s sold out on the Bunna website but the other Feis Ile releases are still available. We’ll soon try these as well. Fingers crossed.