New releases from Woodrow's of Edinburgh Part One - Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old
We are lucky enough to be one of the few retailers currently stocking the fantastic Woodrow's of Edinburgh range. While we don't think that will last, due to the quality of releases coming from Woody, we are delighted to showcase the two additions, released at the beginning of March.
Adding to last years 6 releases, Woody has released an 11 Year Old Bunnahabhain Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish and his oldest release to date, a 28 Year Old Braes of Glenlivet (now known as Braeval), matured in a Refill Bourbon Barrel.
I was thrilled to receive a gift of the Bunnahabhain 11 Year Old from Woody, as a headwetting present following the birth of my first son, Killian, three weeks ago. This is why this review is later than planned as I wanted it to be honest about the whisky, and not a gushy, sentimental thank you to Woody. Hopefully he appreciates that!
The Bunnahabhain was matured in a refill American Oak Hosghead before Woody transferred it to a First-fill American Oak Oloroso Hogshead for finishing.
Bottled a week after its 11th birthday, the cask yielded 264 bottles at a hefty 62.3% ABV.
The nose fills the nostrils immediately with proper, old school furniture. Wood, dust and leather. Cigar leaf and oak. There is classic dark fruits and a sweetness of sticky toffee pudding cake mix. It's spicey, both in spirit and in wood character. A hint of salty malt needs time in the glass to show through the initial alcohol hit. Some sticky bbq sauce offers a savoury note that adds depth and offers a moreish aroma.
On the palate, it hits hot and hard initially. At over 62%, this is not unexpected. For me, it needs time to open up, or add a little water to really bring this dram alive. Black cherries, dates and brown sugar come forward, and the savoury, salty note is here, all enveloped under a whack of dark chocolate orange. An oaky dryness comes through in time, giving a moreish depth, bringing balance to the sweet vanillas offered by the American oak influence. It offers a PX style sweetness and that dryness is very welcome.
The finish is long, dry and complex. It has almost everything, especially when tempered by a drop or two of water. It's tangy and spicy, with nutmeg, ground cinnamon playing loudly. Sweetness comes in a surprise orange peel blast and flows into oak, cigar leaf and dry, mouth sapping dark chocolate bitterness.
Overall, an excellent dram. Sure, it has it's flaws, it needs air and a splash of water for me. But good things come to those who wait, and after that initial heat this really opens its arms up to the drinker. To some, this might be too much, to others it will be just perfect.
That's the beauty of whisky though, and this release will certainly get conversations going, which is all part of the fun and the experience. Well done once again Woody on an intriguing and worthy whisky.