The Ultimate Whisky Company Bunnahabhain-Staoisha 5 Year (2013 & 2014)

Scotch Whisky Review #373 & 374: The Ultimate Whisky Company Bunnahabhain-Staoisha 5 Year (2013 & 2014)

Distillery: Bunnahabhain.

Bottler: van Wees.

Region: Islay.


Scotch Whisky Review #373: The Ultimate Whisky Company Bunnahabhain-Staoisha 5 Year (2013)

Age: 5 Year. Distilled on September 6th, 2013. Bottled on April 3rd, 2019.

Cask Type: Hogshead.

Cask Number: 900038.

ABV: 63.9% Cask Strength.

Color: 0.2, Pale Straw. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: It’s quite simple. There’s a bit of peat, a bit of smoke, and whole ton of malt barley.

Palate: Follows right in the footsteps of the nose. It’s very simple, peat and malt barley. It’s more than a touch hot and requires watering down, but no flavors really unearth themselves.

Finish: Medium in length. Exactly as the nose and palate suggest. Smoke, peat, barley, done.


Scotch Whisky Review #374: The Ultimate Whisky Company Bunnahabhain-Staoisha 5 Year (2014)

Age: 5 Year. Distilled on October 20th, 2014. Bottled on May 22nd, 2020.

Cask Type: Dechar/Rechar Hogshead.

Cask Number: 10621.

ABV: 60.4% Cask Strength.

Color: 1.2, Chestnut/Oloroso Sherry. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.

Nose: Very similar on the nose to the 2013. It’s simple with a bit of peat, a bit of smoke, and a ton of malt barley.

Palate: The first notes you get are maritime ones with a bit of salty sea air leading the way. Some vanilla comes through afterwards before leading into a bit of peat and a lot of malt. With water, baking spices join in the mix giving you a fun combination of sweet, smoky, salty, and spicy.

Finish: Medium in length. It’s fairly simple like the 2013 with a bit of smoke, a bit of peat, a lot of malt. There are some mineral water notes that join in as well.


Conclusion: As much as I have enjoyed Bunnahabhain, I’ve not had any of their heavily peated Staoisha line before. These two Staoisha bottlings from The Ultimate Whisky Company were distilled about a year part, bottled about a year apart, and felt like a good head-to-head to do. The first of them, the 2013 distillate, came across as incredibly simple. It reminded me of another very young Bunnahabhain I’d had, this James MacArthur 5 Year, only peated and not quite as nice. The second of them, the 2014, seemed to offer a lot more. The nose and finish are largely similar to the 2013, minus the addition of some mineral water notes, but the palate showed off a lot of great notes that I’d hope to get more of. The addition of those lovely maritime sea air notes along with vanilla and baking spices to smoke and malt barley came across as a lovely combination of sweet, smoky, salty, and spicy. Between the two, I’d definitely opt for the 2014 and that one leaves me wanting to try more.

Final Score – 2013: 75.

Final Score – 2014: 80.


Scotch Whisky Review #373 & 374, Islay Review #60 & 61, Whisky Network Review #527 & 528


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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