Distillery: Bunnahabhain. ABV: 46.3%. Age: 12 years. Region: Islay. Price: $50.
The first time I discovered the Bunnahabhain 12, I’d just fled the streets of Leith after having been battered by a gale ripped from your most moodily romantic Scottish tales. The bottle called to me from the shelf. Black and forbidding and festooned with a sketch of a sea captain who doubtless would have sneered at my ignominious departure. Without knowing even how to pronounce it, I ordered a dram.
It’s been love ever since, especially since they upped the proof of the drink. The nose is subtle brine, slight apple, and sea foam. The palate is supple, dancing from cherries to oak to chocolate at the end. And the finish remains superb. It lingers nicely and the heat slowly drains from your mouth leaving a pleasant salty tang.
Major thanks to friend of the Axis, Rye Washback, for the photo and for making my backyard look so much better than it is. So glad I found a bottle on deep sale yesterday.
Here’s to reconnecting with old friends! – TM