Elixir Distillers’ Elements of Islay is out with the new series, which includes four bottlings:
Bn7 – A 17 year old Bunnahabhain matured in sherry casks;
Pl5 – Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 2009 at 63.1% ABV;
CI11 – This is a 2008 Caol Ila bottled at 55.4% ABV; and
Lp9 – This is another of the 1998 super butts, here is a single PX butt bottled at 54.3% ABV.
I have had the opportunity to taste these new offerings and will review them over the next week or so.
This first review is of the only unpeated expression in this release, a lovely sherry matured Bunnahabhain.
Elements of Islay Bn7, Bunnahabhain 2001, 17 Year Old Sherry Matured, 1620 Bottles (55.7% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Amber, very thin droplets peeling off a sturdy necklace.
Nose: Starts out with a bit of an alcohol hit, then warm wood spices engulf your nose. Wood, like polished oak, melted butter, dried apricots and dried cranberries. There’s a certain nuttiness to the dram. Some blueberries come through with a hint of balsamic vinegar.
Palate: viscous and dry with a very oaky – and almost fizzy – bitteness, but coupled with a chalky spice. There’s cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit of clove there, together with some prunes and raisins.
Linger: Sherry tannins leaves mouth very dry, with some very gentle spices around the gullet. A sweetness creeps up on the front of the tongue. Hints of the chalkiness remain with a lovely bitterness on the palate and tongue.
This is a very dignified expression, very much what you’d expect of a Bunnahabhain in a good sherry cask.