Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Whiskey Review
If I were to take up the art of whiskey drinking, I would head straight for the Bunnahabhain 12 year old Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, unchill-filtered.
Not only does the 11 word title impress me, but also the cooing and obvious delight that comes from its fanatical followers; one of them being my father.
I would often go over to the bottle as a young shaver, take the top off, take a deep sniff at its contents and repel in horror at the eye watering whiff that emanated from it.
I would then swirl the bottle around to wet the inside of the bottle so I could dip my finger against the wall of the bottle to get the tiniest of samples to dampen my digit.
Tentatively, I would raise the finger to my tongue and taste the evil liquid. Yak! It would be infinitely worse then the smell! I would shudder, replace the bottle cap and wonder how on earth my dad took pleasure in drinking this devils brew.
It put me off whiskey forever. I would wonder why people put themselves through such displeasure…and then have to pay for it. Obviously, whiskey was not for me.
Roll on a few years, when I was officially old enough to buy the stuff, I found out that not all whiskies were equal. I bought a bottle Bunnahabhain (Bun-a-hab-in) for my dad at Christmas. It cost around £20 at the time which was a princely sum back in the early 80’s!
On Christmas morning, I was surprised at his undoubted shock at receiving this bottle of scotch as I thought it was just that…a bottle of scotch.
Apparently not; Being given a bottle of Bunnahabhain 12 year old single malt scotch whiskey was akin to being given next weeks winning lottery ticket!
He coveted that bottle and never let it out of his sight for the whole time it still had its contents. He even saved the bottle and kept it in his garage as if the whole experience of being the owner of a bottle of 12 year old Bunnahabhain was a wonderful memory he wanted to savour.
He would pour the single malt into his favourite glass on Saturday evenings, sit back with a contented expression and sip until the glass was empty. He would really take his time, swirl the Bunnahabhain around the glass, smell it, take tiny sips and make an inch depth of whiskey last as long as he could.
I remember thinking if it tastes that good, why not drink it by the pint? He of course said I didn’t understand the complexities of taste this heavenly liquid brought on and that to drink it quickly, and then, no more than a mouthful, would be a sin against the Scottish whiskey industry and humanity itself.
It was one of the best Christmas presents I ever gave, probably because I thought it was only a bottle of whiskey and it would be greeted with just a gentle nod of approval. Instead I got the impression I had done something glorious and given a Christmas present that threw my dad in raptures of appreciation, declaring that I was his favourite son!
I’ve not summoned up the courage to become a whiskey drinker as of yet probably because of the experiences of my youth in what I thought was ‘proper’ whiskey. After sniffing and tasting that early form of scotch, I think I was put off for life.
But I’ve bitten the bullet and put the Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Whiskey on my Christmas wish list this year in memory of my old man who sadly passed away recently at the age of 88.
My dad never bought, as he called it, ‘supermarket whiskey‘ again. He was never a big drinker, but enjoyed the warmth and pleasure a dram of whiskey gave him, especially the Bunnahabhain 12 year old whiskey I’d dismissively bought so long ago.
And now he would have 3 bottles of Bunnahabhain a year from his favourite son…Father’s Day, Birthday and Christmas Day.
This haul would last him the whole year, but there was always a pleasure for both of us as he accepted the bottle of Bunnahabhain, encased in its special black box, along with the info booklet which he read every time!
So, if you think giving a bottle of whiskey as a Christmas present is just an afterthought, think again. There are pleasures found in a bottle of Single malt, especially the Bunnahabhain 12 year old whiskey, which can release all sorts of warm feelings for both parties!
(Bunnahabhain is pronounced ‘Bun-A-Hav-in’ just so you know what to ask for!)
Official Tasting Notes by Bunnahabhain Distillery of the Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Whiskey: