Review: Bunnahabhain 18 Years Old

One of the most-fun-to-say spirits names in the business, Bunnahabhain is situated on the north end of Islay. This 18-year Scotch is a moderately smoky spirit, heavy on salty, seaweed-infused phenol and light on the sweets (a caramel note is there somewhere in the finish, but it’s just a hint, really). Flowery notes are more prevalent than wood, with that oily phenol putting a blanket down on everything.

I’m not sure this bottling lives up to Bunnahabhain’s tagline of “The Gentle Taste,” but it’s considerably more easygoing than, say, Laphroaig. If you’re looking to move into more phenol-toned Scotches but are put off by them, this is a good place to start.

I had hoped for more complexity in this whisky but it’s quite pleasant — though the price (sometimes over $100) can be off-putting for those unfamiliar with the brand.

B+ / $90 /


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2 Responses

  1. Nash Patel July 26, 2012 / 7:46 pm

    One of the best single malts I had in a very long time. I saw the bottle and read a little and picked up, din’t really bother with the Price. Once opened Bunnahabhain -18 year , since it’s Islay, as most of my favourites are, like Ardbeg, Laphroig, is moderately smoky, nice flavour at the finish like a hint and flowery. I liked it better than Laphroig, as it’s lighter on the smokey and a little smoother and sweeter taste at the end of a sip..the price is worth and I regret I didn’t pick up another bottle. I had it in Nashua, NH. I highly recommend this.

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