Showing posts with label Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scotch Whisky Review. Show all posts

Bunnahabhain 1989 Great Cask Review

“Strange Kinda Woman”

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bunnahabhain 1989 Great Cask Series
Selected by and Bottled for Whiskysite NL, The Netherlands
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 23 Years
ABV: 44.1 %

Colour: Light Golden

Nose: Pleasant but not very complex for a 23 Year old Single Malt. The Floral and Fruity tones like Heather, light Honey, Flagrant Soap and (Green) Apple are combined with slightly Salty Mineral notes and light Maritime Peat reminding us of the fact that this Whisky was created on Islay. I also find Mandarin, Lemon, Unripe Peach, Toasted Barley, light Varnish, Butter and Oak. The Alcohol is not completely integrated.

Palate: Sweet, Spicy and Herbal with Sweet Barley, Grass, Citrus, Aniseed, Licorice, Pepper, Toasted Oak, Minerals and hints of Maritime Peat and Leather.

Finish: Medium Long, Sweet and Spicy at first but Dry and a bit Bitter towards the end with Floral Notes (Heather, Grass), Citrus, Oak, Buttered Toast, Salt, Pepper, Cardamom and Licorice.

I added a couple of drops of water. On the Nose the Floral and Citric tones become even stronger. Some Vanilla pops up as well. Palate and Finish remain basically the same. But you can certainly play with a few drops here.

Rating: 82

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks: The Single Cask Bunnahabhain 1989 I'm tasting today was distilled on October 20, 1989, matured in an Ex-Bourbon Barrel, Cask # 5706 and was bottled at Cask Strength on March 7, 2013 for Whiskysite NL's the Great Cask Series. It sells at around 110 US Dollars.

Bunnahabhain (Mouth or Foot of the River) Distillery was founded around 1881 and is located close to Port Askaig. Usually, the Distillery dries the Malt with hot air or light Smoke, giving their whisky a more subtle flavour then most of its Peated neighbours on the island. 

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: I am more familiar with the peated Bunnahabhains and mixed casks expressions. Therefore this 1989 Great (Ex-Bourbon) Cask struck me as a bit odd. A pleasant Creamy Nose with Fruit, Floral tones and Maritime notes is followed by a quite Spicy, Herbal and Oaky Palate. The Finish is slightly Bitter and did not really invite me to have another sip. It's not a bad Single Malt and I liked the Nose but on the Palate and in the Finish this Bunnahabhain did not convince me. The price is stiff and I would advise to try a sample first before deciding to buy a full bottle! 

Jan van den Ende                                                         November 19, 2014

Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof Review

"The  Sailors of Old Would Approve"

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 57,1 %
Sample Provided By Marlie from The Netherlands. Thanks a Lot!

Colour: Yellow Gold/Amber

Nose: Sweet Malt, light Sherry, light Sulphur, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Wet-Salted Leather, Cigarette Smoke, Old Cigar Box, Dusty Earth, light Rubber, Shell Fish, Charred Oak, Toast, Orange, Roasted Coffee, Vanilla, Toffee, Dried Herbs, Menthol, Straw, Lemon Peel, Sugared Ginger and Peanut Butter. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. 

Palate: The Alcohol is a bit Strong and the Spirit Young and Fiery. I find Sweet Malt, Cigarette Smoke, Ashes, Dried Herbs, Shell Fish, Orange or Mandarin, Lemon, Charred Oak, Licorice, Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg, Ginger, light Sherry, light Sulphur, light Rubber or Plastic and a hint of Brandy.

The Samples provided by Marlie!

Finish: Long, Spicy and Smoky with Sweet Malt, Cigarette Smoke, Ashes, Salt, Lemon, Mandarin or Grapefruit, Straw, Pepper, Ginger, Toffee, Licorice, Oak and hints of Rubber and Brandy. 

With a couple of drops of water the 100 Degrees Proof settles down a bit. Just add a couple of drops at the time until you're fine!

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: The Bowmore Distillery was founded in 1779 by John Simpson. It's the oldest Islay distillery, located in Bowmore. Since 1994 it is completely owned by Morrison Bowmore Distilleries, part of the Japanese Suntory Group. The 100 Degrees Proof was launched in 2012 and originally produced for the Travel Retail Market. It's Non Chill-Filtered and bottled at Cask Strength but is surely artificially coloured. It sells at an average 60 US Dollars. The packaging tells us where this Bowmore got its name:

"Around the Time Bowmore was first distilled, the term "Proof Spirit" was born. Sailors of old would check that their Rum rations hadn't been watered down by mixing them with Gun Powder. If the Gun Powder still lit, this "proved" that it was a strong Alcohol or 100 Proof. If it didn't, then the Rum contained too much Water or less than 57% Alcohol. The Sailors used a hydrometer in this process. 100 Proof of Old equals an ABV of 57,1%"

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: A Young, Nervous but Interesting Bowmore. It's Rough, Fiery and Strong, just like the Sailors would have wanted their Rum to be. So it does do justice to its name in my opinion. But at the same time it lacks a bit of Balance. I would have liked to find a bit more Fruit, especially on the Palate and in the Finish. Still, at this price, it's good Value For Money and sufficiently interesting  as a Single Malt. I wouldn't consider this Bowmore as my Daily Dram but it's good enough to try it out if you get the chance!

Jan van den Ende                                                            August 16, 2014