Duncan Taylor Dimensions Bunnahabhain 16 Year (2002)

Scotch Whisky Review #148: Duncan Taylor Dimensions Bunnahabhain 16 Year (2002)

Distillery: Bunnahabhain

Region: Islay

Price: $150

Cask Type: Sherry Cask

Cask No.: 383216

Bottle No.: 161/204

ABV: 53.0% Cask Strength

Age: 16 Year. Distilled 10.2002, Bottled 08.2019.

Color: 1.5, Auburn/Polished Mahogany. Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Color.

Nose: (according to the wife) It starts off with lots and a lots of tropical fruits, most notably pineapple and coconut. A hint of almond is there along with some vanilla and molasses.

Palate: This has a really rich, velvety mouthfeel. Right from the get go are a lot of those tropical fruits from the nose. There’s a very sharp note of pineapple accompanied by a smoother mango one. A medley of other tropical fruits pops in behind it with papaya being the one that stands out the most. It’s on the sugary side with a bit of molasses to wrap things up.

Finish: Fairly long. There’s a tangy tropical fruit followed by a sharp green apple note. More molasses pops up as well along with a hint of oak and very bitter dark chocolate.

Conclusion: As a Christmas gift, my loving wife gave me this fantastic Bunnahabhain expression from a year I have very fond memories of. 2002 saw Korea host and reach the semi-finals of a World Cup but perhaps I’m also going to have to remember it as a year for great whisky as this dram is fantastic. From start to finish, there are layers of tropical fruit flavors that build upon one another. The bit of molasses that runs throughout does a fantastic job of really bringing things together and the finish throws a bit of a curve ball with that dark chocolate (though a sweeter chocolate would’ve made this perfect) at the very end. I expected a great whisky out of this (seriously, cask strength Bunnahabhain aged in sherry? what’s not to like?), but I didn’t expect all of the tropical flavors that make this a really fun dram. I’m near certain that if you served this to me blind, I would’ve guessed that it was aged in rum casks. Would I buy another bottle? Oh yes.

Final Score: 91.

Scotch Whisky Review #148, Islay Review #17, Whisky Network Review #196

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 (if feasible).
  • 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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