Bunnahabhain 18 Year Islay Single Malt
The Bunnahabain [Boon-uh-hob-in], which is Gaelic for “mouth of the river” is an 18 year old single malt unpeated Scotch from the northern-most part of the island of Islay. The Bunnahabain distillery was originally a mass-production distillery that was known for supplying a large portion of the original Black Bottle blended Scotch. At the time, the goal was quantity over quality and all of their Scotches were heavily peated. But times have changed, and they now produce one of the most underrated Scotches out there. This is likely due to heir heritage of being a supplier for blends. People just don’t take them as seriously as they should, and that just means more for me.
This 18 year old Bunnahabain is a solid uncolored, non-chill filtered whiskey that has just a bit of extra heat up front with notes of salted caramel, dark chocolate, and a bit of apple. Baked apple and brown sugar might be another way to say it. There’s also a bit of lettuce occasionally, but it wears off quickly as the finish gets shorter after about a half a finger or so. But at 46.3% alcohol it comes across as being a bit younger than it actually is. But it’s still a fantastic Scotch. You’ll find it has a slight, but very pleasant hint of sea salt that lets you drift off into an imaginary spot on the shores of Islay. You’ve just walked back to your house through the cold in late November and sat down next to your fireplace to pour yourself a couple of fingers while your warm yourself up. The extra heat in this 18 year old Bunnahabain was made for just such an occasion.