Bunnahabhain 1988 24 Years Old (Berry Bros. & Rudd)
After sort of rediscovering my love of Bunnahabhain a little while ago, I figured I shouldn’t wait too long before reviewing another bottling from this lovely Islay distillery. So guess what? I’m reviewing one today. I bet you didn’t guess that, no did you? 😉
So I dove into my sample drawer and came up with a very attractively aged Bunnahabhain 1988 24 Years Old, bottled by Berry Bros. & Rudd, on of the, if not the oldest, independent bottlers of Scotch whisky in the world. While the label does not specifically states as much, one look at the picture tells us this whisky matured in a sherry cask.
Bunnahabhain 1988 24 Years Old (49,8%, Berry Bros. & Rudd, C#4111)
Nose: Well, hello! This is far from subtle, an in your face sherry bomb. The tiniest whisper of sulphur, but it quickly dissipates to make way for elegant notes of licorice, tobacco and menthol, as well as aceto balsamico and leather. Don’t worry, it has a fruity side too. Dark and brooding. Maraschino cherries and dark forest berries, as well as pure cocoa.
Taste: Very big and oily. There’s fudge, black forest gateaux and Demerara sugar, as well as hints of menthol and tobacco, accompanied by a whiff of dark caramel.
Finish: Lightly spiced, but mostly sweet.
Not dissimilar from the Bunnahabhain 2003 PX Finish, which was a little over the top if you ask me. The same can be said for this bottling.
Photo: Master of Malt
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.