Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2020 Duo (Madiera Cask & Mòine Amontillado Cask Finishes)

Scotch Whisky Review #219 & 220: Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2020 Duo (Madiera Cask & Mòine Amontillado Cask Finishes)

Distillery: Bunnahabhain

Region: Islay

Scotch Whisky Review #219 : Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2020 Madiera Cask Finish (2002)

Age: 17 Year. Distilled October 24th, 2002. Bottled January 23rd, 2020.

Cask Type: Finished in Madeira Casks

ABV: 53.0%

Color: 1.1, Burnished. Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Color.

Nose: The smell of damp, fall leaves is at the forefront here. It’s really like taking in a deep breath while out for a walk on a rainy fall day. There’s a hint of agave nectar hiding here and there along with a note of very sharp citrus zest.

Palate: Liquid butterscotch. That’s what this is, it comes out and just coats your mouth with a rich, sugary liquid butterscotch. There’s also a bit of boozey citrus as well, I’m reminded of slices of citrus that I’ve used to make sangria with. There’s a little bit of bitterness from the rinds and a bit of acidity from the wine that helps cut through the rich, sweetness of the butterscotch. With some water, the citrus gets stronger with a distinct note of blood oranges standing out. The butterscotch starts to fade away as the citrus gets stronger.

Finish: Long. Tons of butterscotch and not much else.

Conclusion: Wine, citrus, and butterscotch is not a combination I would have pegged to work together but somehow it does. The richness of the butterscotch is quite delicious and makes you want to go back for more. When you think you might be getting sick of how sugary things are, the slight bitterness from the citrus and acidity from the wine help cut through that leave you refreshed and looking for more. Pretty good whisky by Bunnahabhain with enough depth keeping it from being a purely one note wonder. Would I buy a bottle? I’ll have to add this to my “if I win the lottery” list.

Final Score: 83.

Scotch Whisky Review #219, Islay Review #25, Whisky Network Review #326

Scotch Whisky Review #220 : Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2020 Mòine Amontillado Cask Finish (2010)

Age: 9 Year. Distilled December 2nd, 2010. Bottled January 24th, 2020.

Cask Type: Finished in Mòine Amontillado Casks

ABV: 56.9%

Color: 1.4, Tawny. Non-Chill Filtered and Natural Color.

Nose: You don’t even have to stick your nose in the glass to smell this one, super smokey and the smell just oozes out of the glass. There’s a sweet, smokey, and savory note up front that reminds me heavily of barbecue potato chips. A slightly salty and meaty note joins it as you stick your nose into the glass reminding me heavily of pork ribs coming out of a smoker. My mouth was watering and my stomach rumbling demanding I quickly get into this.

Palate: Mouthfeel is quite silky. There’s a savory smoke note that reminds me of a nice thick and fatty piece of bacon crisping up in a frying pan. You get the bacon juices just wafting up with a the slight smoke that comes from the fat getting too hot. Yum. With some water, the savory notes intensify further but also a tinge of something fruity pops in as well. There’s some green plum extract (maesil-chung/매실청

) that I pick out with something that reminds me slightly of apricots.

Finish: Medium in length. The green plum extract lingers for a little bit with a little bit of the sherry.

Conclusion: If you’re into smokey, savory whiskies, I think you’ll want to try this. The nose is such a treat and left me drooling. The palate is full of strong bacon notes, complete with the bit of smoke from letting the fat get too hot. While some fruit comes out with some water, I can’t help but think there needs to be a little more to help balance out the more meaty and fatty notes. It’s quite delicious on the whole but just lacking just that little bit extra that would make it truly special. Would I buy a bottle? Another one for the “if I win the lottery” list.

Final Score: 83.

Scotch Whisky Review #220, Islay Review #26, Whisky Network Review #327

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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