Review: Bunnahabhain 18 Year

You won’t find much Islay on this website. That’s mostly because peat and I don’t really get along. However, there’s an exception to that rule. Bunnahabhain is not like other Islays. It’s easy on the peat and heavy on the deliciousness. A few years ago, the core range was rebranded which included a very important change. The whiskies went from being 40% ABV to 46.3% ABV and non-chill filtered. That’s a big deal.

I’ve always heard that Bunnahabain’s core OB range tastes really similar whether you’re tasting the 12 year, 18 year, or the 25 year. I’ve been a fan of the 12 year for a long time so naturally I had to explore a little further.

bunna18

Bunnahabhain 18 Year - 46.3%
Category Notes
Appearance Copper
Nose Earthy sweetness, coastal, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves, grassy field, floral, maple syrup
Taste More earthiness, excellent balance between sweetness, spice, and coastal influence. Red berries, vanilla, baking spices, caramel, toffee.
Finish Sea salt, vanilla, light oak, spicy, raspberry, sour patch kids. Saltier with water, fresh fruit salad, apples, berries, cinnamon, hint of shitake mushroom, honey
Overall Thoughts This tastes A LOT like the 12 year with a bit more sherry influence. That sweet and salty flavor profile really works well and the finish in particular really pulls it all together. There's great balance here but I think this is too much like the 12 year to justify the difference in price. I think this more speaks volumes about the quality of the 12 year. The 18 is in no means "bad" compared to the 12. The 12 is just really that good.
Total Score 91/100