Situated on the beautiful Isle of Islay, Bunnahabhain is a historic distillery that has its roots firmly in the island’s past.
It has been around since 1881 and celebrates all things Islay, bringing the people and the amazing ocean surroundings into everything it does.
It is perfectly placed on the Sound of Islay and as such, the sea plays a big part in what they do, so much so that their label is fronted by a helmsman peering out to sea.
Bunnahabhain take a slight step back from the typically heavily peated malts that are found on Islay, with a focus on sweeter, fruitier tasting profiles.
This is perfectly summed up in the 11 Year Old Pedro Ximenez Cask release that was brought out earlier this year. It is limited to 833 bottled, and has been matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and then finished for three years in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks.
This is a lovely and sweet dram, opening with a nose full of caramel and dried fruits.
There are raisins, apricots, dates and figs, that add refinement and texture to the dram. The caramel is smooth and sweet, with a slightly warming quality to it.
There is also a slight chocolate hint coming through, with a little bit of coffee in the background.
The palate is packed with fruits, nuts and lots more spices. There are more raisins and dates, with pecans, hazelnuts and peanuts.
These are all smothered in thick caramel that gives them a nice chewy quality. The mouth feel is thick and soft, with a lovely smoothness to it.
There is a slight sea salted tang to the palate as well, owing the distillery’s proximity to the ocean. This is a wonderful addition to the mix and bounces of the sweet, sugary tones perfectly.
The finish is equally as sweet, with more caramel and a gentle kick of cinnamon and nutmeg coming through.