Happy Christmas Eve everyone. Just seems like yesterday that we started on this journey and now we only have one more night to go before it all comes to an end. Being a special day we always plant something fantastic behind the #24 door. This is the oldest whisky ever bottled by the dynamic duo of Joshua Hatton and Jason Johnstone-Yellin at Single Cask Nation. A privilege to be able to share it with you all.
Founded in 1881 Bunnahabhain’s whisky style is known to be the softer side of Islay. Being the most Northern distillery on the island and with Dunnage warehouses right near the coast there is no doubting the influence of the sea on this spirit. It is owned by Burn Stewart Distillers who also own Tobermory and Deanston. Seen regularly now as a proprietary brand this distillery is not shy in parting with delicious casks of it’s whisky to independent bottlers like Single Cask Nation.
Single Cask Nation was initially based on a club model in the USA but have branched out with a fantastic retail line that will be available to anyone in Canada from a select few stores in Alberta. The Nation has only been available in Alberta for a few years and already they are building a bit of a cult following among discerning whisky drinkers. Their passion and love for whisky is very apparent in their cask selections.
Single Cask Nation 28 Year Old Bunnahabhain aged in a refill Sherry Hogshead # 7403 and bottled at the cask strength of 51.3% without any mucking about. Islay rocks.
Color: Getting a little deeper here in color after all those years in refill but still pretty light for a 28 year old whisky.
Nose: Tony wisps of smoke from smoldering coals, Heather infused waxy honeycomb, candied ginger and soft caramel fudge along with a background grassy edge that add’s some depth. Very fresh and inviting for an older whisky.
Palate: Pretty soft on the palate initially for 51.3% but the tingle does build at the edges of the tongue. The smokiness is gone now but it was only a wisp anyway. Sugared lemon drops, cinnamon topped custard tart (Aussie specialty). Flavors come through in a delicate cascade and it takes some time to develop. This is not a whisky that you want to rush.
Finish: Fresh cut grass, lemon tart, star anise and sunflower and flax sourdough (this is a thing and its delicious).
Complicated whisky this and I was loath to throw water in it but perhaps those braver than I can comment on their watering experiences.
Let’s head on over to Whiskylassie to share in her thrilling adventures today with this lovely old Bunnahabhain.
For those of you keen on this whisky the good news is that 24 bottles will be available in Canada and you can email to get the lowdown on those special retailers that are ambassadors for Single Cask Nation. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomorrow is Christmas day and I will be blogging from Down under after safely stashing my day 25 whisky in my suitcase snuggled in a huge amount of bubble wrap. So while many of you are enjoying the white Canadian Christmas I will be outside in shorts cranking up the BBQ and listening to magpies warbling and kookaburra’s getting their cheek on.
Until then have a fabulous Christmas eve with close friends and family. Cindy and I wish everyone a very special time together and thank you all so much for being part of our Calendar community this year.
One more sleep till Christmas Day
Ho Ho Ho
Jonathan – taster of secrets