- Single Malt
- Distillery Bottling
- Bottling serie
- Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
- Stated Age
- 12 years old
- 40.0 % Vol.
- 700 ml
- Added on
- 05 Nov 2009 3:00 pm
10 × in wishlist
89 × member ratings
236 × in collection
Whisky Reviews for Bunnahabhain 12-year-old
14 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 84.10 points
- 22 21 22 21 86
- C: We know these bottles were unconvincingly presented at 40% [those were the days], with further potency lost to time in the bottle. However, this is far more on track & desirable than the/my last bottle, being fruity, oily & old skool.
Scores a C+
- Very drinkable and enjoyable but not maritim at all - very different form the subsequent Bunna 12yo with the new label that is totally maritim and salty - though very good
Malty, barleyish, hints of citrus fruits, oranges - not very strong
Very smooth, oily, fruity, mostly about citrus fruits like oranges, hints of oak, subtle sweetness, little malty
Medium long, warm
- Intro: Initially very disappointing on initial opening, after all I’ve had plenty of lovely 12yo Bunna’s from the ’90’s. After leaving the bottle to settle for a week and in the interim trying some super 35yo+ whisky, in perspective it’s surprisingly more favourable - especially against the modern bland vanilla brigade. Not sure i gleaned much complexity from nosing it initially - its more of a soup, the old style kind of course.
N: A week later: Coffee chocolate, glazed horse meat, a touch of Worcestershire sauce, cheese & Port, oily brine - starting to cook now.
T: A lot more than 12 years in here, compares favourably to much older malts up to and around 18 years in some cases. There’s more sherry in this batch than i have known in other batches with decent power for 40% thats for sure. There are issues here, the arrival is clumsy & erratic and neither is it harmonious on the palate unlike previous ’90’s batches have been. Water certainly helps with flavour, integration, consistency and mouthfeel that produces a faint spearmint, liquorice wood and TCP, as if a Laphroaig cask had sneaked into the batch. It has to be said that its a rather gluggable now, oily, buttery, sweet malty>caramac and herbal- a profile that hangs on for a while before turning…. restricting the palate with its tartness, shame - and ultimately its a bit boshed, the sherry is all over the place,… moving,…
F: …. to a light herbal, light sherried>liqueur like, chocolate maltiness before concluding with a waxy-light cereal note. A little off-key again at the death, as its been throughout.
C: First up, the sherry [all-sorts] and is all over the place. More positively, there’s way more age than the modern 12yo’s, the oily, fruity, sherried slick on the nose and palate sits favourable to the modern Bunna, but sits in-between that and say the Glenalba 25 WB - a blend of which shows a whole other level in age but with similar, varied sherry qualities and taste profile. Lets blend these two - yep, works, best of both worlds. Going back to the Bunna neat now and its better, more so in many ways to the 25yo on its own. A fascinating day in my whisky journey. So, downs and ups with this one. I know i have a soft spot for Bunna, the 12yo especially, so despite this being not the greatest of batches in the last twenty years, its very drinkable to me. Objectively speaking though, its not the greatest, really it’s a clumsy batch and not far off this Glen Ord WB in that respect. 80 for this Bunna seems about right, this has been a ropey batch but its still enjoyable as an everyday, easy drinker.
Scores a C- 
- N: So moorish i find this, I nearly drunk the whole bottle without taking notes. These older 12yo bottlings from the 90’s smell way, way older than current day 12’s . Fusty yet oily fungal wood notes lead the way. There are some agricultural pasture notes wafting past a brewery and a paper factory, a little egg, vinegar, a touch of Caramac, tamarind paste, dried pomegranate seeds, shelled nuttiness, melon=lemon-sawdust and a little BBQ [smoked Paprika] smoke - moving towards a sherried-maltiness overall.
T: Smoke indeed, subtle yet undeniable with a farm-peatiness and BBQ sauce no less. Theres a little sweetness but its more medicinal-sweet than sugary and its equally salty too - salt=sweet like you get in the popcorn mix in cinemas. Plenty of dark-wood-oils showing as it moves along with plenty of [sherry+/-bourbon] cask notes - the oak with a deep-green fauna inclination along the lines of dry grasses and pine needles. In the latter stages, its the barley maltiness that becomes stronger before both malt and oak converge.
F: Deep, oily wood notes, almost coal tar with a mouthfeel to match followed by light liquorice, spearmint and vanillas. Ash>heathery-peat smoke at the death and [from the distillate?] some freshly picked blackberry notes too.
C: Don’t let me mislead you with all those smoke notes, its not a bonfire malt but its decidedly more peaty and smoky than recent 12yo’s [2015/6]. These days the Bunna 12 is bottled at 46.3% but even at 40%, these bottles from the 1990’s are still a true delight - just as good as the newer/bolder expressions but in different ways. Still a classic, but how batches vary!
Scores a B