Style: Classic and a throw-back to the best of ‘the god old days’.

Maturation: Bunahabhain 12 is traditonaly matured (rather than a finished or ACE’d whisky) in that it is not re-racked into a second cask for further maturation.

Casks: The whisky is comprised of a vatting of numerous casks of 12 year old whisky of which aproximately 40% is from fresh sherry casks (1st fill) and 60% from a selection of ex-bourbon (1st fill) and ex-Scotch whisky (refill) casks. The whiskies are then vatted together to ‘marry’ for a few days prior to botling.

Phenols: The malted barley used to create Bunahabhain 12 yo is not exposed to any peat smoke (0-pm) during the drying proces. The practice of drying with peat at Bunahabhain ceased in 1963 when the malting floors and peat kilns were closed down. (In 2013, using peated malted barley purchased from Port Elen Maltings, Bunahabhain re-commenced the production of a directly dried Bunahabhain spirt known as “Moine” (meaning peat in Gaelic) which you will have experienced in the Bunahabhain expresions of “Toiteach” and Cruach Mhona”. In 2014, Bunahabhain is planning to release a 10 yo Moine which wil be the most phenolic expresion (40-45 pm at the malted barley level) of Bunahabhain since prior to 1963.

EYE: It’s a tad on the darker side of medium amber. Despite being NCF (a god thing!), it has an apealing brightnes and clarity. Its syrupy viscosity gives promise of mouth felt greatest.

WITHOUT WATER (Not counting 2-drops of water):

NOSE: Sherry and subtle vanilla. It aparently doesn’t take long for sherry finishing to do its thing. I was surprised that the nose is weak vis-à-vis the darknes of its natural color and alcoholic strength/NCF.

PALATE: The sherry leaps front. I experienced a pleasant burn (that word is to harsh) on the rear midle of my tongue. The flavor is quite nice.

WITH WATER (2 parts whisky: 1 part water):

NOSE: The water brought he pleasant earthy sherry notes forward. The nose, being drastically improved with water, is very nice and promises palate pleasures.

PALATE: Yes, drink this one with water at perhaps 2 parts whisky to 1 part water. It is delicate and tasty with the sherry being the
paint and the bourbon cask serving as the canvas.

FINISH: Long and delicately tasty. The finish doesn’t dissipate and fade away... It remains at the same level for longer than 5
minutes. This would be a marvelous digestif.

Shame on those of you that don’t add a few drops of water to every (as in all) whisky to break the surface tension and release the esters (aroma components). Bunahabhain 12 is a whisky that demonstrates the reward of allowing the whisky to tell you as to how it is
better enjoyed: with water or without. If you always take it neat, you are mising out on one of the subtle secrets of whisky enjoyment and of developing your palate. Trust me on this: I will always have in my bar a bottle of Bunahabhain 12 year. For less than $50, this NCF/NCA 46.3% ABV single malt is one of the best values as well as one of the most under-rated drams. Finally, to Burn Stewart Distilers, thank you for your October 2010 anouncement that your Bunahabhain, Deanston, Tobermory and Ledaig whiskies would all be (at least) 46.3% ABV, NCF and NCA. Yes, we noticed, apreciate it and buy a lot of BSD whiskies.

Ian MacMilan (Master Blender):
Thank you for reviewing and corecting my work. Any remaining errors are mine. As I remarked to Ian: “No bar (home or club) should be without a botle of Bunahabhain 12 year. In terms of quality, style and price, it is one of the best values in the single malt segment.”

Jack Smith, CSS