Bunnahabhain 28, 1989 (Faultline)

My series of reviews of recent K&L casks continues. The score so far is 2-1. The two casks I liked a lot were both Old Particular releases (a Bowmore 20, 1997 and a Bunnahabhain 25, 1991). The other was a Mortlach 22, 1995, an Alexander Murray cask bottled in K&L’s own Faultline series, and I thought it was ordinary. This one’s also a Bunnahabhain but it’s also another of the Alexander Murrary Faultline releases. That doesn’t bode well. Will this be another of K&L’s older whiskies that seems like a great value but isn’t actually worth it anyway? Let’s see.

Bunnahabhain 28, 1989 (42.1%; Faultline; first-fill sherry hogshead; from a bottle split)

Nose: Rather mild at first and then there’s some orange peel and milky cocoa and dried leaves. After a minute the orange peel is dominant and it begins to get a bit sticky; the cocoa turns towards toffee. Water washes it all out.

Palate: Starts out a little flat and it’s the texture that makes the first and second impression: it’s thick and somewhat beany (as in dried beans, not green). The orange peel pops out as I swallow and there’s a bit of wood as well. Otherwise, there’s not a lot going on. With time, the orange is more and more assertive but there’s really not much else going on alongside or under it; some oak, some of that leafy quality from the nose, but nothing new. Water dilutes everything on the palate as well.

Finish: Medium-long. The orange peel is the top note here too and it picks up a bit of chocolate as it goes.

Comments: This is very nice and very drinkable—and tastes a bit like someone emptied a bottle or twelve of Grand Marnier into the cask—but it’s a little too one note (though it’s a nice note). It’s certainly a much better deal than the OB 25 yo (and a bit older) and I’d recommend this over that at the price, any day; still, I’m not sure it’s worth $150 in the abstract, unless the age meant a lot to you. It’s a moot point anyway as it sold out very quickly. If you have an unopened bottle, water is not recommended.

Rating: 87 points.

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