Independent bottler Adelphi was able to get their hands on a refill sherry cask in which the spirit of Bunnahabhain matured for 14 years, from 1997 until 2012. It yielded 525 bottles at cask strength. Surprisingly pale for a sherry cask, but then again, it is refill.
Oh, this is wonderfully dirty and peaty. A malty heart with creamy butter, hay, dusty books in the attic, wood shavings and some mint. Freshly baked bread. A touch woody, but at the same time quite pleasant. But no trace of any sherry influence bar maybe a sweet note of pear syrup.
On the palate it starts off dirty as well, a bit grainy with a good dose of peat that creates a big smoke. You can feel the cask strength now. The hint of mint turns into a good dollop of menthol and it works like a charm. Green notes of ferns and earth, again quite a bit of oak without turning oaky, but blind I would never have figures this for a sherry cask. Refill, I know.
The finish is long, warm and feisty on white pepper. The smoke becomes bigger still and for a second the peat actually bites.
A great winter dram.