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Whisky Reviews

Bunnahabhain 2004, 17 Year Old, Kingsbury, 62.8% ABV

 

 

Bunnahabhain 2004 17yo Kingsbury sherry butt (62.8%)

Nose: Ginger beer, gingerbread, panettone, apple juice, sage, brine, cinnamon, chocolate marshmallow. Some blackberry emerges with water, which also brings out an element of candied ginger and the brininess (the latter still mild though).

Palate: Drinks well under proof, like 55%, in terms of both texture and heat. Sparkling apple juice (specifically Gerolsteiner), candied orange slices, cardamom, tangy willow honey. Water brings out more of the willow honey.

Finish: Long and strong, the ABV helps here. Cherry cola, cracked black pepper, blackberries again, hint of sweet fishcakes like in ramen, walnut.

Score: 90

A festive dram if there ever was but avoids being cloying with the sweet yet bright ginger. There is a bit of maritime influence that pokes through the age and sherrying. Surprisingly, totally devoid of astringency even neat despite the proof but lacks a bit of rich earthy syrupiness and complexity in the palate. My SO thinks there are some hints of chocolate on the palate but I only find notes along those lines in the nose.

It also starts to burn if drunk at the tail end of a flight, but I encountered no such problem if drunk neat in isolation. I don't necessarily recommend water as the texture, improbably, starts to discernibly thin out. Maybe two drops, max. However, what a beautiful example of clean balanced sherrying that reminds me of a Glengoyne.

 

H.Y.