It has been a while since there was a new review published. Due to several circumstances I had a lack of inspiration for writing some reviews. Mind you I didn’t stop tasting whisky at all. I will be starting my blog again, but at a fairly irregular basis. So keep your eyes open for the reviews and thank you for not forgetting me!
To start with after the absence period I selected a dram which is specially selected by and bottled for a The Casqueteers. The Caqueteers consists of a small group of people which select their own casks and bottle it. While a friend of mine, Adrie Hoogvliet is one of these people I follow them and their quest to select whisky. This one is the first bottled one for this group and is older Bunnahabhain. Distilled in 1986 it has aged most part of its live in a normal cask (not mentioned which type) to be released end 2011 I guess in a smaller Octave barrel to mature in for a short period of 8 months in reconstructed ex sherrywood octave cask which the colour by looking at the bottle fully reflect. Cask number is 382893 and there are only 71 bottles at 54,3% ABV around (very scarce bottle). So let us start.
Nose: Quite a bit of almond sweetness (marzipan) combined with several layers of wood. The notes you would suspect from sherry wood, raisins, some peeled orange, quite a bit of light honey and roasted nuts. Slumbering notes at the back are coastal and grassy or even farm like (no not the stables). Nice hints of saltiness. Layer after layer it displays more, getting some light smoke, grilled fruit or baked banana, but also showing age, some old furniture wax is present as is old leather.
Taste: Starting quite sweet with lots of fruits and again that marzipan. Followed by some bitterness form I guess the tannins of the small wooden barrel. Not unpleasant, just enough. The sweetness is overwhelming at first, but imagine a glass filled with various fresh fruits (berry’s in all forms) in a nice creamy, honey sweeted custard … Hmmm would do great as an after dinner dram! The Island influence is definitely present but more positioned at the background of this fruit delight. There is a hint of smoke or slightly toasted bread and some seaweed saltiness present. Even the oak is presented in a sweet and fruity way. Superb!
Finish: Looooooooooooooooooooooooooong …. Starting quite sweet, but then turning quickly in a more bitter fruitiness (orangemarmelade, dried figs or dates). And then a whiff of smoke from smouldering fresh oak is present. A bit spicy too and at the end it is fruit all over again with hints of orange, peach, banana and lychee. And when you finally swallow, there is that creamy mouth coating feeling with a warm glow.
Conclusion: A dram that doesn’t display its age at once, feeling fresh and powerful. It keeps your senses active by giving you then this and than that, which is very pleasant. It thus is multilayered with an excellent balance. It will be difficult for the Casqueteers to top this one in the next ones to be bottled (I know they have a Mortlach from 2002 waiting and are planning to buy a Littlemill cask), but keep your eyes open for new editions of them albeit they are very scarce. Points : 94 still available at whiskybase shop for 138 Euros.