Whisky Review #109: Bunnahabhain 1980 34 Years Old

Bunnahabhain has for years been one of the lesser known Islay distilleries and while it has gained more attention over the past few years, the brand still lives in the shadows of the likes of Ardbeg, Bowmore, Lagavulin & Laphroaig.

However, it has remained a firm favourite among those who are aware of the distillery’s house style and as a result, has helped propel it into the general consciousness of the whisky world.

In recent times, the distillery has acknowledged that its somewhat “scruffy” image needs to be overhauled and they will soon embark on a refurbishment exercise to address this.

While the official bottlings have been gaining interest and followers around the world for its easy drinking style, it is the independent bottlings which have piqued the interest of the more well-versed consumers who are aware that the distillery has produced a multitude of peated and unpeated distillates over the years, some of which having ended up in the hands of independent bottlers of course.

As we have previously delved into the history of the distillery, we will not revisit it and the information as well as associated reviews can be found at the following link: Bunnahabhain.

This week’s review focuses on a rather interesting expression from Bunnahabhain which was distilled in 1980, matured for 34 years in a sherry butt (Cask #847945) before being bottled by The Single Malts of Scotland at a natural cask strength of 46.6% abv and with an outturn of 257 bottles.

So, let’s dive right into the review!

bunsdl1980
Bunnahabhain 1980 34 Years Old (Bottled by The Single Malts of Scotland)

Bunnahabhain 1980 34 Years Old (Bottled by The Single Malts of Scotland, 46.6% abv)

Colour: Amber

Nose: Initial entry presents a perfumed, fruity and slightly mineral aromas. Sea salt, a hint of creosote, green chili, chalk and burnt oranges emerge after some time and are followed by nutmeg, oregano, thyme, wet slate and oak. The peat develops later on and takes on a gentle form, with green apple, white pepper, flint, gunpowder and some tannic hints emerging thereafter. (22/25)

Palate: Initial entry presents a hint of sweetness followed by ham hock, white pepper, oregano, thyme, greem chili and wet leaves. Oak, nutmeg, flint, slate and dill emerge shortly after and are followed by some hints of lime and burnt orange as well as chalk and sea salt. The peat is gentle and well with the wood spices and herbs. (22/25)

Finish: Long on the finish, with the green herbal hints, residual oak and wood spices lingering to the end. Gets increasingly tannic and almost bone dry at the very end, with hints of green tea leaves. (20/25)

Balance: A fairly well-balanced dram which exhibits a range of complexities and nuances. This is a dram which rewards the drinker if afforded time and patience. The mouthfeel is relatively drying and becomes increasingly so as time progresses. (21/25)

Rating: 85/100

This expression of Bunnahabhain can be purchased from The Whisky Exchange for £250 (£208.33 ex VAT) and is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for an interesting interpretation of the Bunnahabhain house style.

Until the next review, have a wonderful week ahead.

Slainte!

Brendan

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More reviews: https://www.thesinglecask.sg/blogs/news

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