Ceòbanach is a new limited release NAS bottling from Bunnahabhain (apparently around 10 years old). It will be released in Sweden in February and probably in Norway in March. The name means “smoky mist”, which sounds promising. We’ll see.
Nose: Noticeable smoke, fresh peaches and red currants, then fruit compote. Malt loft (malted barley and dust). Water brings out lemon or tart melon and bonfire (there may be some painted or varnished wood on the fire).
Palte: Smoke, freezer ice (the one that forms on the inside of the freezer walls), black peppercorns, sweet peach (but much less fruit than on the nose). Still mostly smoke with water, but smoke containing a lot of other things. Is someone burning juniper wood? Has someone thrown a bag of peppercorns on the fire?
Comments: One of those where you could spend an evening trying to put names to what you’re smelling and tasting. As it’s also exceedingly nice, I can’t ask for more. As a session dram I think I’d prefer it without water, but for the full experience a few drops are neccessary.
Well, I can’t say I was jumping for joy when I discovered that Bunnahabhain have discontinued Darach Ur and replaced it with another Travel Retail Exclusive. I would have liked a little forewraning, at least, so that I could stockpile some bottles of one of my favourite whisky bottlings EVER. Well. Since I have liked what Bunnahabhain have done with their NAS bottlings in general, I picked up an Eirigh Na Greine when I cam through Aberdeen Dyce on my way home from the Orkneys (more, much more, on that later).
Nose: Malt and sweet plums, dryish wood fire, milk chocolate. With water I get chutney made from tropical fruits, with more water the fruity impression becomes fresher.
Palate: Malt, spices, orange peel, tropical fruits, milk chocolate. A lightly bitter finish. Water brings out digestives with orange marmalade.
Comments: Slightly too bitter on the finish for my palate, and it does not hit the mark in teh way the Darach Ur did. Still, it’s a pretty good dram, with a lot of action both on the nose and the taste considering the price.
From an ex-sherry butt #2800. Tasted at Casc in Aberdeen.
Nose: A lot of alchohol, chocolate covered cherries. With water it turns more towards orange marmelade.
Palate: A lot of alchohol, oak and dark chocolate. Water brings out orange marmelade spiced with ginger.
Comments: There is something vaguely smoky both on the nose and palate – dry and ashy – I’m wondering whether it comes from the oak or whether the spirit is actually smoky. A very good dram, but worth the money (GBP 13.10 for one dram)? Well, considering what Bunna is doing with NAS bottlings at the moment… probably not.
Nose: Newly struck matches, dried red berries. Water adds tartness to the nose, I get lemon but also a little sulfur and a hint of liquorice.
Palate: The malt is obvious, even through the fairly heavy cask influence. Newly struck matches, oak and dry sherry. Water opens for bitter chocolate and dry forest. Dry cocoa and barley dust on the finish.
Comments: I’m rather more impressed this evening than when I had it as part of a tasting the other day, I found it a bit too bitter then. I still miss a compensating sweet note, or at least I think I do. There is something not entirely “complete” about the sherry character. Still, a nice dram, I’ll have another if you’re offering.
The Elements of Islay series is bottled by Speciality Drinks.
Nose: Light smokyness, green wood burning, with rather a lot of leaves still on the branches. Banana and honey. More fruitiness and sweetness with water, barbequed peaches and rosemary.
Palate: Cold fireplace, ashes and coal. Maltiness and sweetness. Water lights the fire (strangely enough), the smoke becomes warmer. Underneath there is banana toffee and yellow apples.
Comments: I can only state (categorically) that peated Bunnahabhains are nice. Very nice.
Thanks to Daniel for the sample.
Nose: Plum in madeira, green herbs, burnt wood and a hint of burnt rubber, orange marmelade. With water I get mint and aniseed, but still a lot of marmelade and burnt wood.
Palate: Warm wood, hints of burnt rubber, candied orange peel. A little more bitterness with water, otherwise much the same.
Comments: The nose is nice, the palate a little boring, but it’s a nice enough dram overall.