Bunnahabhain 28 Years Old King's Court Whisky Society Cask 23003 42% 1989
€ 215,31 (in Vat)
|Bottler||King's Court Whisky Society|
|Cask Type||1st fill ex sherry butt|
Serge Valentin (90)
This by good guys in Harlem, in the flatlands. Colour: light amber. Nose: lovely tobacco and old walnuts, soy sauce, hardwoods, humidor, touch of hoisin sauce (fermented plum), then a dry spice mix, with cloves cinnamon, nutmeg and caraway. The notes of old leathery tobacco pouch in an antique shop are just superb. Mouth: indeed, some lovely nutty and tobacco-y notes singing in unison, while the choir would gather roasted chestnuts, coffee dregs, bitter oranges and just old oloroso. Notes of hoisin and miso in the background, that just always works. Finish: rather more on chocolate this time, as well as the usual walnuts and a few sour herbs. Oregano and tarragon? Comments: only the wee lack of power will prevent me from going over…
This whisky, which is technically undisclosed and named as ‘From the northernmost distillery on Islay’ is, of course, a Bunnahabhain. The entire fact that it’s from the late eighties and unpeated made that clear without any further thought.
I got sent the sample last week by Nils Reinaerts, who has been a member since forever. I joined the club for a little while back when I moved to Krommenie. However, with Haarlem being relative close (except when trying to get there without a car) I cancelled my membership after two years of not joining any activities.
Anyway, late eighties Bunnahabhain, from a first fill sherry cask should be good, right? I’ve had a few in the past that were well worth their money. Of course, that money has increased over the years and this bottle now sets you back € 215. Compared to some other releases that’s not too bad, but it’s not exactly cheap either.
Oh, on a side note, the low ABV of 42% is still cask strength. It must have been some porous staves in that cask.
It starts with a good combination of cask and grain. Quite a lot of barley, straw but also some fruit. Old, drying oranges, apricot. The sherry adds some spices too, I’m getting clove and cinnamon.
The palate is rather dry with a lot of fruit and grain again. Quite some oak, more than on the nose. Soft oak notes, with some complexity from the sherry. Dried apricots, nuts and baking spices. Slightly earthy later on.
The finish is suddenly a lot more fruity, with grainy notes in the form a rather not-sweet pound cake. Slightly buttery, with a earthy and salty note.
Well, this is quite cracker. It’s exactly what you hope Bunnahabhain from this age to be. Fruity and slightly dry, with a good balance between really good spirit, and a, luckily, not too active cask.
I like the fruity notes that aren’t too prominent, and not too sweet. The barley is still prominent. A very, very good pick!