Bunnahabhain 1988/2014 ‘Kirsch Gateau’
Wemyss often bottles good whisky, I think. But one thing they could improve on is the strength they bottle their casks at. Mostly they choose to water them down to 46 percent abv. Now that’s not bad, but also not what I’m used to from independent bottlers. They usually prefer cask strength.
Luckily Wemyss recently bottled a couple of cask strength whiskies as well. There’s a Bowmore out there for example, and another one is a Bunnahabhain from 1988, nicknamed Kirsch Gateau.
Bunnahabhain 1988/2014 (56%, Wemyss, ‘Kirsch Gateau’)
Nose: Rusty metal, maybe a touch of sulphur, but not in any way bothersome. It adds a layer in my opinion. Burlap, walnuts, grain cookies. But also rich, dark cherry syrup with raisins and dates.
Taste: Coffee, mocha and black pepper. Intense dried red forest fruits, and also bitter chocolate. The palate is pretty dry.
Finish: Long and warming with wood spices and lots of sherry influence.
Intensely sherried Bunna can be pretty good. And in this case it is very good. It won’t disappoint sherry enthusiasts. But to be honest, I like my Bunnhabhain a bit more subtle.
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.