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-