3D Whisky

I tasted the Cask Strength and Carry On 3D whisky the other day, and rather to my chagrin, it was very tasty.

I say that because I've always held to the old whisky maxim "Dufftown by name, duff by nature"*, but this whisky rather disproves the rule (although to be fair to my prejudice it's only partly Dufftown - the 3D refers to Dailuaine and Dalwhinnie as well).

This particular vatting of malt came about because bloggers Joel Harrison & Neil Ridley of caskstrength.net somehow persuaded The Borg Diageo to let them have access to some casks for the latest release in their Whisky Abecediary. For that achievement alone they deserve kudos.

So to the dram itself. (I was provided with a handy 3D tasting note sheet, but after filling it in I felt compelled to return to my notebook and write at rather more length. Perhaps you prefer the fuzzy floating 3D words.)

It's a light and floral and sweet whisky. Floral to the point of soapiness, but for me that ain't a fail. There is also a grassy note, and overall the nose is very fresh. The palate is in keeping with the nose, being light and soft. It is gently malty, and has a very tasty brown sugar note. And it's sweet, of course, thanks to the Dalwhinnie, or so it seemed to me. Altogether a very tasty vatting.

*Old whisky maxim: in other words, newly coined by me.


Abbey Whisky Bunnahabhain 23 Year Old

In a twitter tasting organised by the tireless Steve Rush and Abbey Whisky, my favourite dram was a Ben Nevis 16 Year Old. Rather than talk about that whisky, this post is about Bunnahabhain.

I've a soft spot for Bunna. It's rarely superb, although of course there are some limited bottlings which shine. But it soldiers on, offering a gentle, creamline toffee dram, sometimes with a touch of salt, sometimes with a little more sherry. Of course there are plenty of whiskies doing just that. Jura, Arran, Tomatin spring to mind. What sets Bunnahabhain apart is a lightness of touch, a citric, lemony note which keeps it from being bland or uninteresting.

This particular Bunnahabain is a very fine example of the style. The nose isn't intense. Rather, it is elusive, with hints of citrus, hints of salt, hints of milk or cream, in a way which draws me in rather than boring me by their faintness. The palate is a bit of a surprise at first, with a huge hit of chilli astride the honey notes, but then the salty touch and the mustiness of old casks distracts me. Water calms the chilli, leaving a light sweet fudge flavour with a warming, albeit short, finish. A nearly excellent whisky.

And that's the point, I think. If Bunna was really excellent, one would need to be a bit reverential about drinking it. But because of that nearly, you can pay attention and find something to interest you, or you can simply be dog tired and in need of a dram without having to think about it, dammit, and either way Bunnahabhain will do the job nicely.