...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Things I Really Drink: Bunnahabhain 33 year old 1980 Whisky Doris, cask 92

(Bunnahabhain cluster 2023 homepage)

If you're thinking, "Didn't he already review this whisky?" The answer is, yes! I had the pleasure of opening a bottle for a whisky event, EIGHT years ago, and promptly fell in love with it. In my review, this site's 450th, I concluded with, "...it just became my birthday gift to myself." And eight years later, I opened it for a birthday, my 45th.

I can count on one hand the amount of times I've been able to try a 30+ year old whisky, then turn around buy it, and this was one of the last times (yes, eight years ago). In 2015, this bottle went for ⅕ - ⅒ the price of a 33yo single sherry cask single malt today. Let that soak in a little bit.

This monochrome old-style label, tho:

One-third of the bottle's contents have now been processed by human livers, and I'm wrapping up a Bunnahabhain cluster, so it's the best time to review bottle #211 from this 33.5 year old sherry butt.


The highlight of this entire cluster, this whisky's nose elicits an audible reaction every time. Walnuts and orange peels. Fresh apricots and yellow plums (mirabelles if we're being fancy). Balsamic vinegar, pears, and mizunara-like sandalwood. Dunnage and honey. Hints of cinnamon, almond extract, and roses in the background.

The palate starts with a surprising herbal bite of fresh sage, oregano, and wormwood, followed by black walnuts, grapefruit, and honey. Clementines and tinned peaches bob up to the surface after 45 minutes. There is a woodiness, but it arrives delicately, giving way to the herbs and fruit.

It finishes with more complex citrus notes (tangy, tart, and sweet) that last the longest. Some of the herbs, especially sage, remain, along with the honey and a bright fresh ginger zing.


I'm plucking out the cork again, and a bolder dunnage note jumps out first from the bottled Bunna. An almost existential feeling swells in my chest. Yes, that sounds very dramatic. But I'm reminded that I'm past the midpoint of fully functional senses in this life. So I should enjoy the hedonism while I can, and OPEN ALL THE WHISKIES RIGHT NOW. Or maybe just enjoy the moment. I'll figure this out someday. Or not.

While the palate doesn't leave me contemplating the life outstanding, it still makes me go, "Yeah, that's really nice." The finish: "More, please." Were it not so damned late, I'd pour another glass. So, as always, I encourage you to make time for what you've got, share your good stuff, and go hunt down some old Bunnahabhain.

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - it was a buck-fitty in 2015
Rating - 90

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