We like to remind our Islay-loving customers that Inveraray is often described as the Gateway to Islay, and our Living Cask 1745 pays tribute to that title with an award-winning blend of Islay malts. Otherwise known as the Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is famous among whisky drinkers for its intensely peaty flavours, but there’s one distillery that is known for being different.

Bunnahabhain was established in 1881, taking its name from the Gaelic for mouth of the river, and it’s the most northerly distillery on the island not to mention the only one using pure spring water in production. This means that, along with the use of unpeated malted barley, the signature Bunnahabhain character of fruit and nut stands in out from the peaty beasts the island is known for.

That’s not to say the distillery shies away from the classic peat flavours of its island home – the peaty releases of Ceòbanach and Toiteach earned prizes in spirit competitions around the world, and no doubt similar success is on the horizon for the upcoming Moine Oloroso.

A limited edition produced from just seven casks, the spirit has been distilled with peated malt barley and laid down in sherry casks in the sea-facing Warehouse No.7. What you get is a cracking combination of intense peat and a lovely sherry sweetness. And in case you were wondering about the name, moine means peat in Gaelic, while Oloroso is the type of sherry that was in the casks before the lovely whisky went in.

Bunnahabhain Moine Oloroso is non chill-filtered and at its natural colour, bottled at a cask strength of 60.1% abv, so it’d be wise to add a drop of water. Here’s my tasting notes, but feel free to make your own as soon as it’s available from Loch Fyne!

Nose: rich raisin notes with sultanas and toffee giving way to a peppery smoke.

Palate: sweet sherry and dried fruit are rounded out with salted toffee in a syrupy mouth-feel, before layers of smoke, oak and citrus develop.

Finish: long and lingering with a sweet smoky character.


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