10 January 2012

Elements of Islay Bn1 "A Blazing Belter of a Bunna"

When nothing other than a right rollicking phenolic kick from an Islay whisky will satisfy all your dramming needs, desires and urges, I think it's fair to assume that the distilled offerings from the Bunnahabhain distillery would be highly unlikely to make it onto anyone's peat monster (gentle or otherwise) list.

Infact given their uniquely lighter and non heavily peated style, it’s fairly safe to say that they would appear on a completely different yet very discerning list all together.

However as with most things in life these days, there are always exceptions to the rule, and in this particular instance 'thanks to the marvel of independent bottlings' an exception to this distilleries typical style of whisky.

If you've ever wanted to experience all the balanced bounty and beauty of a Bunnahabhain with the addition of an imploding and protruding peat-opian punch, you need look no further than the Elements of Islay Bn1, brought to you by the those fine folks at Speciality Drinks.

The nose kicks off with an alluring waft of penetrating peat smoke and a sassy yet subtle suggestion of a fresh out of the box replacement bicycle inner tube. Followed by an infusion of white pepper, a cotton wool ball drenched in witch hazel and the aroma from the inside of an empty box of Liquorice Allsorts.

A cold mug of Horlicks and a few squares of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate make for the next set of nasal delights, along with a generous glug of clove infused honey, wood spice and an edge of something distinctly calvados-esque.

Sweet musk and the freshly scraped contents from a Madagascan vanilla pod help provide an additional level of vibrancy and balance, as does a quick to follow shower of grapefruit and lemon zest.

As much as this dramming ditty pleasurably protrudes its punchy peaty and peppery wares on the nose, it’s not until you’ve had your first sip that you realise what a blazing belter of Bunna it really is.

The palate kicks off with all the chugging and glugging gloriousness of thick peat smoke infused honey and lemon lozenges. Followed by confident kicks of sandalwood, ginger, cloves and a generous pinch of white pepper.

There’s a hint of something sludgy and coastal, but before its oily presence becomes too dominant, a wave of assorted citrus zest then cuts through and balances out everything just perfectly.

Smoked maple syrup, vanilla extract and someone’s last few Nestle Rolo’s make for the next set of palatable delights, followed by the aftertaste of a Pontefract cake and a nip of Calvados that has a distinct and tenacious tannic edge.

One things for sure, from its first nose to its last sip, there’s no lapse in confidence as far as this dram is concerned. It delivers from start to finish and beyond, echoing and lingering its peat-opian wares long after its final pour.