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2014 Bunnahabhain Staoisha Heavily Peated 4 Year Old "Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection" Dechar/Rechar Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)

SKU #1434679

The Bunnahabhain distillery is located at the far northern edge of the island of Islay and was built in 1881. There it has quietly made a famously non-peated Islay malt capturing many malt lovers' hearts. The distillery began experimenting with heavily peated malt in the 1990s and has continued to produce limited quantities under various names since then. We've fallen absolutely in love with the style and we're excited to see this special cask in the Signatory warehouse. We typically avoid malt this young, but the Staoisha we got from Milroy in an almost completely inactive refill hoggie was delicious, so we figured we'd have to give this refurbished cask a spin. Thank the lord of the Isles we did. The dechar/rechar process is just as it sounds. The inside of an old barrel is scrapped to reveal a fresh layer of oak, then a fire is ignited to re-carmelize the wood sugars and seal the cask once again. The result is a much more active cask, but without the harsh tannins we usually associate with virgin oak. Astonishing on first nosing. The whisky could easily be 8+ years older. Straight out of the bottle, expect a big bold peaty malt with roasty bbq, dense smoke and a core of dark spicy malt. With water, this precocious youngster displays a finesse and elegance reserved for much older Islays. Classic Bunnah saltiness is there but framed by an impressive array of flavors. Those who pass on account of the age are only punishing themselves with their closed mindedness.

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Price: $69.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/15/2019 | Send Email
For being so young this scotch seems to have an old soul. A lot of character coming from this young Islay offering. A soft and warm mesquite wood smoke is immediately noticeable on the nose, with mowed grass lying beneath. Other aromas of iodine, mixed apple salad, charred fennel and serrano pepper seem to be playing musical chairs and never quite show up the same way. On the palate, you get hit with a sweet maltiness on the tip of your tongue, which then moves into a smokey lemon peel and a nice spice before the finish. At the end I was left with a waxy, lanolin flavor/texure along with smoked honey. The finish was long and pleasantly smokey.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/11/2019 | Send Email
Young, lusty and full of zest. Although it is young it is a treat to drink now. The nose is full of smoke with vanilla and floral aromas. In the mouth it is round and lively with smoke, juicy malt influences and subtle savory notes. It is very complex and there is a lot going on in this single malt. With water the floral aromas are a little more expressive but there is still plenty of smoke. In the mouth the smoke and savory flavors are a little softer and more subtle.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2019 | Send Email
Only four years old and absolutely cranking! The heavy peated Stoaisha is always good, but here we're in a different league than the others we've sold. The addition of the very active oak turns this from a linear malt with just peat and salt into something much more complex. The nose is bold smoke, but with complex wood smoke, sweet vanilla syrup, tiny whiffs of iodine, orange sherbet melting on a diesel engine. The palate, while I was worried that it would be dominated by oak, is the purest peat smoke, sweet roasted almonds, herbs of all kinds, saffron, salted lemon peel, and a slight lanolin quality. With water it's a bit more ozone; lemon peel comes forward and tons of herbs. More nuts and vanilla on the palate, but very fresh. It might be "modern," but it doesn't seem composed or adulterated like so many young malts from the big boys.

By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2019 | Send Email
This bottling definitely speaks directly to the die-hard peat fanatics out there. Fans of last year's John Milroy 3 y.o. Staoisha should be pleased with this successor, because honestly, it is worth the increase in price. The former bottle relied almost exclusively on barbecue smoke and a healthy dose of oak, but ultimately felt understandably underdeveloped. This fills out all the flavor you were missing--salty, mossy and rich with marvelous charred oak and a lick of spice. Tobacco and aromas like a dry-rub for pork keep this feeling fresh and different on every sip. The dark, chocolatey malt makes for a perfect backdrop on which to hang all these intricate, nuanced flavors that work so well with the deeply entrenched smoke. With a bottle like this, the impending shortage of double-digit age-stated single malts does not seem so scary.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/24/2019 | Send Email
Alright, Staoisha, you got my number. I know it might not be for everyone (just the fact that it's heavily peated implies as much), but I'm all about this Scotch! Smoldering fire embers, toasted cedar planks, iodine, and a scent of just-overcooked bacon. Then more nuance develops as lighter elements emerge: grilled peaches, buttery kettle corn, and (surprisingly) wild flowers linger on the nose and manage to shine through all that smoke. The palate has a nice balance of smoked sweet and savory elements, including well-toasted baking spices, but even fresh flavors such as Granny Smith apple. This one will wallop you, but you'll love it for it all the same.

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/24/2019 | Send Email
Oops. I made the mistake of popping this bottle in a communal staff space and it took over the room much to the chagrin of the few peat haters. It's robustly peaty, loaded with wet earth, cold smoke, iodine, salted caramel, candied cereal, and green apples. It's a titanic whisky. This will challenge all of your perceptions regarding the importance of age and is not for the faint of heart.

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