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Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Cask Strength - 2022 Edition

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There are lots of spheres of life where this approach pays off: sharing the road with lunatic drivers, my mother-in-law’s cooking, or the perpetually scatter-brained friend who can never manage to make a night out even after suggesting it himself. Yet, these are expectations I have of others, not expectations I hold for myself. This distinction is key to how expectations in whisky continue to raise us up, befuddle us, and sometimes come crashing down on our earnestly eager heads. Driving around to different parts of the island also revealed its very different landscapes. The relatively flat (for Scotland) moorland between Bowmore and Port Ellen felt calm to the more blustery Bruichladdich on the far side of Loch Indaal. The slightly more wooded south coast had a more bucolic sense than the remote feel of the ancient historical seat of the Lords of the Isles at Finlaggan. If we decide not to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms, such decision shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

No partnership, joint venture, agency, or employment relationship is created as a result of your use of the Service. I’m a big Bunnahabhain fan, if it wasn’t already painfully obvious (but not an uncritical one), so take my perspective here with that in mind. This is a damn good dram. It’s heavy, it’s sherried but by no means a sherry bomb, it’s complex, and its different dimensions are nicely balanced against each other to create a sensory equilibrium that allows accessible exploration of different facets of the house spirit. There’s plenty for me to explore here all evening in this one dram. For me, that’s pretty close to the definition of a satisfying dram, and it’s one of the better Bunnahabhains I’ve tried. The trouble is that the expectations we have in whisky are often more about us than about others. As Ogilvie discussed recently, each of our whisky journeys are woven through with expectations. We build up bottles in our eagerly anticipating brains to levels that defy anything approaching common sense. FOMO is one manifestation in whisky of failed expectation management. I see that the Next Best Bottle has just been released, and my mind, nose, and taste buds form a boisterous conga line coaxing me to join, merrily and unthinkingly guiding me to shell out some hard-earned money for it. This sometimes happens with a distillery I’ve yet to try, but more often it’s from a distillery I know and have enjoyed bottles from before. It’s the worst with distilleries that are in the handful of what I’d call my favourites.

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Whiskybase B.V. is the Dutch private limited liability company, having its statutory seat in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and its office at Zwaanshals 530, 3035 KS Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Whiskybase B.V. is registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce under no. 52072819. This second release is of course similar in many ways to the first, as we follow the same classic recipe of unpeated Islay spirit in oloroso. The latest expression is richer in sweet chocolate and red fruits on the nose and carries a spicier finish delivering bigger, richer and fuller flavours of oloroso sherry that Bunnahabhain drinkers have come to know and love." On the palate we’re getting blood orange juice, tobacco, orange peel, walnuts, and notes of sherry soaked raisins. Nose (with water) This cookie is set by Rubicon Project to control synchronization of user identification and exchange of user data between various ad services. Without prejudice to the section Liability below, the Service may be temporarily unavailable during maintenance, updates, etc. We shall make reasonable efforts to inform you of any unavailability due to maintenance or updates.

I find myself enjoying this 2023 release just as much as last year’s more sherried release, but – importantly – for different reasons. This is not a repeat of the 2022. I repeat: this is not the 2022, so if you are expecting that with this, you may be either surprised or disappointed, or both. That the distillery has decided to make the 12 year old cask strength release explicitly batch variable means that we now have three very distinct drams across three years that showcase different aspects of the spirit.

Bunnahabhain master blender Julieann Fernandez said: “I’m really proud of this year’s 12 Year Old Cask Strength release. Even bigger and even bolder than its predecessors, with an ABV of 60.1%, it epitomises everything that Bunnahabhain is known for: unpeated, sherried and full of intense flavour, offering big hits of roasted nuts and cinnamon spice in every dram. Her second trip, my first. My pilgrimage, you might say. Long a devout follower of Bunnahabhain, I was finally making my way to the holy of holies to pay homage. And to partake in the imbibing of some divine nectar.

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