Bunnahabhain 2001 16 Years Old (Claxton’s)
I have extremely fond memories of the Bunnahabhain XVIII, but for some reason that experience didn’t exactly send me down the Bunnahabhain rabbit hole. Right now, I have only one bottle of Bunnahabhain at home, which is downright weird, considering my fondness for the distillery. And the only reason I have that particular bottle, is because I was sent it.
I’m referring to the Bunnahabhain 2001 16 Years Old from Claxton’s. It was bottled exclusively for The Old Pipe, probably my favourite whisky shop in The Netherlands (although we’re blessed with many great shops). Such a shame it is a two hour drive from my home.
This Bunnahabhain matured in an Oloroso sherry cask, and was bottled on the 16th birthday of Jan van Boxmeer, the son of The Old Pipe’s owner Johan.
Bunnahabhain 2001 16 Years Old (55,8%, Claxton’s for ‘The Old Pipe’, C#1730-1429)
Nose: Rich and powerful, but not intrusive, there’s plenty of warming sherry notes. Think raisins and honey, as well as cocoa powder and dark chocolate, and leather. It has something slightly farm-y about it, with a touch of aceto balsamico to boot, ensuring this is not your average sherry matured whisky. By the way, there’s a bit of sulphur (somewhat metallic) here.
Taste: Great oily texture, while slightly drying as well. Plenty of cocoa powder again, as well as red grapes and cranberries, and balsamic. There’s a whisper of gunpowder, accompanied by subtle spices, mainly cracked black peppercorns.
Finish: Lingering spices, chocolate. Medium in length.
Good stuff from Claxton’s, and certainly not a dime a dozen. If it wasn’t for the sulphur notes (which I’m fairly sensitive too), I would’ve rated this a tad higher. Available at, you guessed it, The Old Pipe.
Whisky provided by The Old Pipe
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.