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Bunnahabhain 1974 / 2014 Samaroli Infinity #604 vs Bunnahabhain 1968 / 2002 Auld Acquaintance

Bunnahabhain always seemed to want a bit of age to me. It could just be me, but upwards of 30 seems to be the sweet spot for where Bruichladdich is happy at 18. Thankfully in Bunnahabhain’s case, there is real value in this age bracket particularly.

Bunnahabhain 1974 / 2014 Samaroli Infinity #604 43.6%

 Nose: Excellent. Bunnahabhain here shows it is a thick and densely flavoured whisky. Lots of clean nut oil, honey and this one tends to waxiness as well. Smooth and rounder without any harsh edges, that’s sheer time in wood, and when all the scents seem to fold into each other. Also old varnished oak, worn out leather, faint soot. What must be thick resin or liquefied amber. Bark and dried sap and just hints of something a bit salty too.

 Palate: Good weight, excellent grip. Yes..  shows a diverse herbaceous tannicity on the tongue, bitter greens, sap and sticky resin. All that soothed by the oils and honey soon enough. Very interestingly, a dollop of salt shows ups soon after the sweetness and intensifies to the fuzzy finish. Great development.

 Finish: Long, herbaceous but also salty, weighty, dense. A winner.

 

 

Bunnahabhain 1968 / 2002 Auld Acquaintance 43.8%

 Nose: So no surprise, the sherry influence is immense but restrained. It’s a dry aromatic purple and a viscid sun ripened sweetness, but to its credit, the whisky also pushes back with a dense core of thick oils and dark honey, and also intriguingly what seems like a salty soy tang. Overripe fruit, dark earth, wet wood and hints of dunnage. There’s a lot going on in this one.

 Palate: The whisky does wear the sherry well, not the other way round. It is the purple that drapes this solid middle that speaks of heavy oils, honey and a cereal fortitude. Like the 1974, the saltiness surprises you as it is more apparent here than hinted at on the nose. It feel like the Bunnahabhain here was definitely dense enough to withstand the onslaught of sherry, and the tension lends to this great balance the drinker appreciates. Getting funkier now, with moist earth, petrichor.. shrooms?  Not every whisky can hold up to big sherry and the decades, but Bunnahabhain seems to do just fine.

 Finish: Long, rich salty-dried fruit sweet. Oak and earth.

 

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This entry was posted on October 17, 2017 by in Bunnahabhain and tagged .
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