Bunnahabhain – Bn7 – Elements of Islay

Thanks to /u/smoked_herring for pouring me a sample

Continuing on with the impromptu, night before school start tasting, One of the people, a one wood flame infused fish person, had brought a whisky I had been eyeing to try. That whisky? Albert Einstein. Fuck, I mean Bunnahabhain – Bn7 – Elements of Islay.

The idea? Create a veritable table of elements, but with tasty scotch rather than the building blocks of the universe, of which most would kill you if you drank them. Remember that next time someone offers you a big ole glass of Yttrium.

So this is a 16-year-old Bunnahabhain aged in Oloroso SHerry. Given the number of bottles, I’m going to say not a single cask. Not on your life. But still worth investigating. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Islay

Vintage: 2001

Bottled: 2018

Cask Type: Oloroso Sherry

Number of bottles: 1,620

Abv: 55.7%

Colour: 10Y 9/6

Nose: Gingerbread cookie, strawberry, nectarine, doughnut

Really powerful and complex, right out of the gate. Lovely butter and spice, some tart/red fruit notes, some simpler stone fruit, and sweetness/yeast going on.

The nuttiness of the Oloroso has mixed well here. Very nice to the nose, though the sugar-phobic may want to go about their longer, better lives.

Taste: Cherry, lime, chocolate bread, coconut

And the rollercoaster slows down. We go from an initial, lasting complexity to a fruitier, simpler note. The yeast is still there, and we’re getting chocolate and coconut (which either works or doesn’t, depending on who you are) but this is not working as well.

Finish: Oak, cherry, vanilla, cola, musty, cocoa biscuits

The finish is vanilla, oak, and meh. Anything resembling a complex flavour is gone. We’re left with dry sweet elements. Hints of the chocolate linger, but not enough for me to care.

Conclusion: A fun, great nose followed by a quick, meh taste and finish. Too dry, not enough to it. I kept wanting more because the nose was straight fire, but the rest just isn’t working with it.

If you were to skip to the taste and finish you’d think this was younger, maybe a single cask, and not a premium product. Any salt is missing on this one. What should be a rich Bunnahabhain is lighter, citrus, lacking salt, and offering you a wow without giving a damn. If you love a spicier nose, go for it. If not, try before you buy, as I think there are better Bunnahabhains out there, and even better Elements of Islay as well.

79/100

Scotch review #1118, Islay review #299, Whisky review #1738

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