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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Bunnahabhain 12 year old 2007 van Wees The Ultimate, cask 592

Here's the second Big Bunna Butt this week. At 58.1%abv, this Bunnahabhain is hot stuff compared to most single malts, but a pipsqueak compared to Monday's creature. Because The Ultimate is a pretty reliable range and the bottle's price was right, I almost bought this whisky blindly in 2020. As usual, I passed up the opportunity. Luckily I was able to get in on a bottle split last year. Time to see what I missed out on.


Distillery: Bunnahabhain
Owner: Distell Group Limited
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: van Wees
Series: The Ultimate
Age: 12 years (13 Feb 2007 - 9 Jan 2020)
Maturation: 1st fill sherry butt
Cask #: 592
Outturn: 595 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 58.1%
(from a bottle split)


Wow, mango on the nose! Mangoes, apples, and flowers. Milk chocolate in the midground; eucalyptus, ocean air, and pine in the background. Chocolate forms the palate's nucleus, everything else floats around it: tart oranges, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and a soft sweetness. It finishes with darker chocolate, caramel sauce, pine, and dried mango.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1½ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose's mango survives, though the milk chocolate pushes forward, as does an oceany brine. Mint, lemon, and smoke fill the background. Guava, limes, honey, and salt in the palate, and I can't complain. The lime note expands with time, as roasted almonds appear. There's a nice balance of tart, sweet, and salt in the finish.


I missed out on a great one here. True, there's a lot of cask influence present, but that mango, tho. And that guava, tho. Curiously, the diluted whisky reads hotter than the full strength version on my palate, so maybe I'm totally delusional and the tropical fruits were a hallucination. If so, that's okay, it was a happy trip. If you've opened your bottle of this Bunnahabhain, please share your experience in the comments.

Availability - Might still be available in Europe
Pricing - around €90?
Rating - 89