Battlehill Bunnahabhain 8 Year

Review #24: Battlehill Bunnahabhain 8 Year

Distillery: Bunnahabhain

Bottler: Battlehill

Region: Islay

ABV: 55%

Age: 8 Year

Price: $70

Color: 0.7, Amber

Nose: This is a strong one! The high ABV level of this whisky really comes out and punches you. The nose is oily and heavy with a lot of fresh oak spice. There are some notes of sweetness which really come out with a bit of water. I was thinking over-ripe pears. With some water, the nose mellows out quite a bit and you get a lovely bit of brine/salty sea air.

Palate: Very light and sweet. Lots of fruit, I’m thinking golden raisins and fresh pears. You get a lot of heat from the age of whisky. With some water, more of those beautiful fruit notes come out and you get some over-ripe pears (almost like pear syrup) behind the fresher notes of the raisins. Absolutely delicious.

Finish: The main note is that of fresh oak and spice in the finish. You get some of the same pear/raisin notes that were in the palate and nose. Without water, the finish was medium in length ending in a dry note. With water, the finish grew in length a bit but still had that dry note at the end.

Conclusion: For an Islay, I was really surprised by the flavor profile in this. If you gave it to me blind, I would 100% guess it was a Speyside, perhaps a very good Glenfiddich or something made by Aberlour. It’s light with some wonderful layers of fruit throughout. The only note that I would expect to see out of an Islay is that lovely salty sea air in the nose after a bit of water gets added in. This is the first Bunnahabhain bottling I’ve tried so I don’t imagine that the rest of them are like this but I’m definitely going to have to find a more standard bottling to try.

Final Score: 83

Scotch whisky review #24, Islay whisky review #2, Whisky Network Review #30

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection.
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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