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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Bunnahabhain 23 year old 1991 Whisky-Fässle

Now that I'm done with the younglings, the Bunnahabhain cluster will time travel back to the '90s and '80s, which is probably the best scenario because if I'm going to deliver irrelevant reviews, I'd better make the whiskies inconsequential and old.

Today's Bunnahahbain was bottled by the reliable Whisky-Fässle, a German indie that likes to put duck heinies on their labels. For instance, from today's bottling:

Hey, no judgement here. Everyone's got a kink.

Almost as important as the duck's tushie is the fact that this Bunnahabhain was unbothered by sherry casks. It's a single hogshead, and the whisky's color is quite light. And I am quite looking forward to this.

Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Ownership: Distell International Limited (via Burn Stewart Distillers)
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: Whisky-Fässle
Range: Ducks?
Age: 23 years (1991 - 2015)
Maturation: hogshead
Alcohol by Volume: 47.5%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(Thank you, My Annoying Opinions for the sample!)


Ooooh, guavas and roses and apple cider start the nose off. It has a beer-like cereal note in the middle, with hints of kiwi juice, mint leaf, smoke, and dunnage mustiness floating through the background. The palate goes BIG on the bitter herbs, salt, and dried leaves. A zippy tartness arrives next, followed by soil and smoky spent synthetic oil. It finishes with tart pineapples, dried leaves, and a bit of that good bitterness.

The ABV is already low, so I'll go easy on the water.

DILUTED to ~43%abv, or >½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose tilts towards apples, pears, and green grapes. More on dandelions than roses. A brisk mix of dried herbs and ultra tart citrus fill the palate, with lighter notes of oat bran and toffee following. The finish still has that lively bitterness with subtler tart and sweet notes offering some balance.


Duck butts > Sherry butts?

This whisky's palate is of a style that's almost outlawed today. Maybe five distilleries can still nail this industrial-yet-fruity character on their best days. That this hogshead seemed to do little, aside from hold the whisky, only improves matters. I'd be happy to consume this Bunna with or without water, but I'm leaning towards the neat delivery right now. Because the ABV was already quite low, I don't know if this cask would have been better at 18 years or 28 years, but I think it was dumped at the right time.

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88 (same score given by Mr. Opinions and Mr. Fun)