Fèis Ìle 2021 – Bunnahabhain, Fèis at Home, Tasting Notes
Our final tasting of Fèis Ìle 2021 and what a week it has been. Lots of fantastic whiskies from some of our favourites and some we haven’t experienced before. It is certainly something that we would look to do in person next year! An eye opener for sure on how whisky is created as well as how different distilleries go about creating their flavours and profiles. Fingers crossed next year we are able to go and meet some more people form the whisky community.
Virtual Tasting – Fèis at Home
A great tasting hosted by Billy, Brendan, Andrew and Jullianne. Together they make up the master distiller, distillery manager, master blender team. Their passion for whisky and the distillery shone through. With great stories from Fèis Ìle’s gone by – it felt as though you were drinking whisky in a bar with friends.
Small Batch Distilled 12 y/o – 46.3%
A classic Bunnahabhain whisky – distilled in small batches. Somewhat of a contrast to some of the previous whiskies we had tried during the Warehouse 9 tasting earlier in the day.
Nose: raw fruit cake mix, raisins, sultanas, so Christmassy like the inside of a raw mince pie, orange peels steeped in brandy, chocolate coffee
Palate: caramel, rich dark fruits, candied cherries and orange peels, cinnamon, nutmeg
Finish: thick mouth coating – rich, chocolate caramel like a curly wurly
This whisky is SO evocative of Christmas pudding at my grandparents house. Pretending to like the fruit pudding in order to get one of the fairies ‘magic coins’. So many brilliant dried fruit flavours, just gorgeous. This was a fantastic start and really got us going for the tasting, we will for sure be getting hold of this if we can for Christmas!
2001 Marsala Cask Finish – 53.6%
Distilled in 2001, this is a 19 y/o whisky. It has spent the last 4 1/2 years in Marsala butts. Historically they have found that Marsala pairs really well with the fruitiness of the base Bunnahabhain spirit.
Nose: lots of citrus – orange, lemon, lime – cinnamon, cloves, liquorice, like dried fruit wreathe at Christmas time
Palate: black treacle, deeply sweet in a dark sugar molases type of way, tonnes of dried fruits and berries, there is citrus hiding in the background – elements of fresh spring rain
Finish: black forest gateau
Well what a follow to the first this dram was, full of sweet fruity taste and just kept giving plenty of flavour. One to definitely chew your cheeks and squeeze everything out of the finish possible. This would be a great eye opener for a new comer to whisky, for those more familiar with whisky this would not be out of place with desert.
2013 Moine Bordeaux Finish – 59.5%
The only peated whisky of this tasting, and potentially the first peated Bunnahabhain that we have ever tasted.
Nose: raisins, sultanas, marmalade, Christmas cake and fire pit smoke
Palate: vanilla, honey, lots of British summer fruits and toffee
Finish: chilli spice and pitted fruit with smoky BBQ whispers
An absolute belter of a whisky – WOW. Just truly fantastic. This is the sort of peat that I like – the smoky BBQ end of the spectrum instead of the medicinal side. Potentially my favourite whisky that we tried throughout the entirety of Fèis Ìle week!
Well what a week of celebrations it has been. This has only made us even more excited to visit Scotland, and Islay in particular. It’s brilliant that you can get such a wide range of flavours from just one whisky making area. Here’s to many a Fèis Ìle in the future! Sláinte!
If you’re keen to see the other tasting sessions that we attended during Fèis Ìle 2021 – you can access our notes below!