AD Rattray Bunnahabhain 2009 1st Fill Sherry Butt 66.7% ABV (£130). Distilled at Bunnahabhain for 12 years in 1st Fill Sherry Butts, limited to 555 bottles, NCF & NC.
Appearance: Mahogony, a deep brown/orange. A quick forming jagged tide mark forms with a corrugated coating of medium legs.
Nose: The sherry influence is abundantly noticeable. Rich and deep, heaps of stoned fruits and berries, sweet smoke and slow-cooked BBQ meat.
Although there is an obvious high ABV on the nose, it carries the fact that it’s the better part of 67% ABV well.
The nose is so full and rich that you can taste it without a sip. Take a big traditional fruit pie and cook it on the BBQ. That’s this. Blackberries all day long.
The first thing I notice after adding water is that, on the nose, there are now Frazzles.
Palate: Wow, the palate does not disappoint. Huge fruit, specifically those blackberries, confectionary sugar and that lovely sweet meaty BBQ smoke. Lovely buttery mouthfeel too. Glorious!
Although there is some spice from the ABV, it’s minimal considering the strength. It’s a dangerous dram in that it’s a very easy sipper (and VERY nice) but getting on for 70%! One for an evening when you don’t have to get up the following morning!
Adding water enhances the jammy fruit element somewhat.
Finish: Full of fruit and chocolate. The sweet smoke lingers in the background too.