Signatory Vintage Bunnahabhain 10 Year First Fill Sherry (2009)

Scotch Whisky Review #180: Signatory Vintage Bunnahabhain 10 Year First Fill Sherry (2009)

Distillery: Bunnahabhain

Bottler: Signatory Vintage

Region: Islay

ABV: 68.5%, Cask Strength

Age: 10 Year, Distilled 2009

Cask Type: First Fill Sherry Butt

Cask No.: #900075

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: (according to the wife) Lots and lots of caramel when you first take a whiff. It’s followed by spiced oranges, an orange liqueur, and some chocolate.

Palate: Really rich and sweet up front starting with a luxuriously silky milk chocolate. I was immediately thinking of those Lindt chocolate truffles, the ones with the oozing, silky chocolate inside of them. There’s a bit of orange jelly that comes along afterwards, a combination that reminded me a lot of jaffa cakes (if you’ve never had a jaffa cake, they’re Britain’s second gift to earth following Scotch whisky). A hint of salted caramel pops up as well. As you add in more water, the salted caramel note becomes more prominent and evolves into a bit of caramel popcorn and praline.

Finish: Short, it dries out almost instantly. There’s a little bit of fire and a bit of ethanol but nothing unpleasant. The salted caramel is what makes the biggest impression here.

Conclusion: Clocking at 68.5% ABV, this cask strength Bunnahabhain is easily the strongest I’ve tried. And man is it fantastic. There’s lots of layers of lovely desserts packed into here with caramel, oranges, and chocolate throughout. The jaffa cake notes made me want more and more of this. The evolution of the salted caramel into a caramel popcorn and a bit of praline was delicious. My only gripe about this whisky, which is near perfect otherwise, is the near total lack of a finish. Even after watering it down some, it evaporates so quickly and just leaves me wanting. On the whole, it’s phenomenal.

Final Score: 84.

Scotch Whisky Review #180, Islay Review #19, Whisky Network Review #247

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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