Bunnahabhain 2007 Mòine Oloroso Finish Fèis Ìle 2018
Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland
I was fortunate to get a couple of ounces of this from a contact that keeps me well stocked with samples of special edition Bunnahabhain, many of which I’ve yet to get to. But I’ve enjoyed all the ones I’ve tried and it’s quickly risen in my rankings from a distillery that I’ve overlooked to one I follow with interest, even if the number of limited releases seems to approach Highland Park levels at times. This was one of two Feis Ile releases this year and, contrary to the Distiller information, spent its entire maturation in oloroso sherry casks. I don’t comment often on the color of my drams but this one is ridiculously dark, and naturally so as far as I can ascertain. The nose is rich with stewed fruits and Christmas fruit cake. I was expecting some harsh alcohol notes given its strength but it’s very approachable and doesn’t numb the nostrils. Not so in the mouth, where the aftershock of the undiluted spirit overwhelms the taste buds. It takes a couple of teaspoons of water to tame it and find the fruity flavors of the nose. They’re yummy, but it’s very cask driven and I didn’t taste much of the peated spirit coming through. It’s on the finish that things get more interesting. It’s dry, like black tea, with a long aftertaste of plums and dark chocolate. And that aftertaste keeps going, morphing into a mouthful of juicy raisins soaked in wine and hanging around for at least an hour after I’d emptied the glass. It’s a five-star finish to a whisky that I’d otherwise rate three stars because the sherry influence has overwhelmed the heart of the Bunna spirit, so I’m splitting the difference and calling it a bottle worth buying if you can find at a sensible price.