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Rated B+ Reviews Scotch Whisky Whiskey

Review: Whiskies of Scotland Bunnahabhain 24 Years Old 1989

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Whiskies of Scotland may not be the most creatively named independent Scotch bottler, but the company does boast an impressive range of older single malts, including this 24 year old from Islay’s Bunnahabhain, distilled in 1989.

Bunnahabhain is well known for its modest (or even absent) peat profile, and after 24 years in barrel, said modesty is tempered even further. Peat is vaguely evident on the nose in this release, but it’s kept well in check and in the distant background by a panoply of other aromas: baking spices, green tea, plenty of toasty oak, and a brown butter character. On the tongue, many of the same elements continue to dominate. Lightly smoldering wood is immediately evident, alongside light notes of butterscotch candy, a handful of fresh herbs, and a gentle saline quality that melds seaweed with salty sea spray.

All of this is done with a very light hand, the simpler toasty wood elements tending to dominate through to the finish, where a sudden rush of sweetness becomes sharply evident. This serves as dessert for the otherwise quite savory main course, and a necessary pick-me-up from what can otherwise be a bit of a staid, sedate experience.

92 proof.

B+ / $160

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Whiskies of Scotland Bunnahabhain 24 Years Old 1989

$160
8

Rating

8.0/10
Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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3 Comments

  1. RB July 11, 2019

    Was Bunna of this era peated? I thought it usually wasn’t prior to the 2000s.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Null July 11, 2019

      RB – That’s a challenging question but yes, Bunna has been peated off and on for decades. The 1997 Signatory Heavily Peated expression of Bunnahabhain is especially well-known. That said, I can’t tell you how much peat is involved in this 1989 bottling. I tasted it again and definitely get a hint of it here, but it’s very slight and could be largely influenced by the barrel or simply the march of that much time. Whiskies of Scotland doesn’t even have a website, so details are hard to come by.

    2. Christopher Null July 11, 2019

      Here’s another 1989 Bunna that was moderately peated, also: https://malt-review.com/2019/02/14/berry-bros-rudd-bunnahabhain-1989/

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