No! Just because it’s NAS does not mean it’s not good. On the other hand, travel retail has become the proving ground for many new NASty experiments. So what have we here?
Bunnahabhain, the “other” Islay distillery, has a peated expression here to take on the best of the traditional Islay expressions. I haven’t had the Toiteach in quite a while, but if memory serves me right, this one is a very different peat than the Toiteach, coming actually close to Ardbeg-y type of peat.
Bunnahabhain Cruach-Mhòna, Travel Retail Only (50% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Straw colored, exceedingly slow legs.
Nose: The first sniff congers up the mineral lemony peat of the Ardbeg 10. This is some powerful, very clean peat with notes of cookie-dough with light floral perfume. With time, something almost sandalwoody comes through together with some cereal and malty notes.
Palate: Lemony zest and peat with some very gentle spicy black pepper.
Linger: The linger is long with very mouthdrying peat in the mouth and pepper in the back of the throat.
This is a lovely expression of non-medicinal Islay peated whisky. At 50% ABV, it works really well and will provide an enjoyable dram reasonably priced, and in 1 liter bottles.
My friend Ran told me that this expression won’t disappoint me, and after providing me the means to test that hypothesis, I can tell you he was right. Thank you Ran!