1989 Bunnahabhain 28 Year Old Faultline First Fill Sherry Hogshead Cask Strength Single Cask Single Malt Whisky (750ml) SKU #1344019


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Tasting Notes

We've had an incredible set of old Bunnahabhains over the last two years. This isn't our first Bunnah under the Faultline label, that was released in 2013 and was a steal for $100. We've bottled Milroys, Hepburns, Exclusive Malts, and multiple Old Particulars in the last few seasons. The sale of the distillery a few years ago has certainly sparked some house cleaning at the gorgeous old distillery in the cove north of Port Askaig. While we've had many exemplary old offerings from this special distillery, none represent quite as much value as this special cask. 1989 was an unusual year for Bunnahabhain. Something unusual happened that year, as a significant number of old casks from the vintage have turned out malt whisky at considerably lower proof than is typical. Perhaps they'd procured an excess number of casks that vintage and decided to fill at lower proof or maybe all the stuff we're seeing today was stored in EXTREMELY humid conditions, thereby encouraging the evaporation at a higher rate. We may never know why these whiskies are so different from other vintages, but its obvious after tasting several that something special was going on. The heights achieved here are totally unique and deliver an experience unlike any other. Fill that into a fresh sherry hogshead and you've got what is likely one of the most interesting cask we've ever bottled. What's even more incredible is that the "Bunnahabhaininess" still shines through after nearly decades. Oh and that price, dang.

Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    This Bunnah doesn't need my help to sell - it will probably be gone by the time you're reading this, but it is a wonderful, unusual, delicious little cask. Standing in stark contrast to the OP we just sold out of, this is first fill sherry hogshead, but is almost lighter in color than that odd ball offering. The other thing about the '89 Bunnahs is that they all seem to be really low proof so not sure how much longer we'll be seeing them since they'll need to be blended with other casks to keep them from going under the limit. Not as obvious sherry as expected (maybe it was not Oloroso?), but we do get a gorgeous nose of salted stone fruit, ocean spray and just the tiniest burning embers of peat in the distance. On the palate the wild fruit is there again and the peat is more obvious. It ain't a peater, but it's definitely not unpeated. I think that gives great nuance and balance contrasted to the sweet fruit and oak flavors. This is a fun, if not slightly atypical casks, but clearly delivers a ton of value and significantly contrasts the ocean of old Bunnahabhains that we've seen recently in style.
  • Anthony Russo
    By: Anthony Russo
    K&L Staff Member
    Although Bunnahabhain is one of my favorite distilleries due to it's drinkability, I haven't tasted as many older expressions of it as I would like, until this and the 25 year old release from Old Particular arrived. Side note, by "drinkability," I mean the distillery seems to bottle the whisky as one should be bottled: no bells or whistles to enhance flavor, just pure, complex scotch. This also means the spirit is not super full bodied, but a bit more mellow. Lots of wood age and a seriousness on the palate make this a must-have for collectors and enthusiasts who need a big, pure, scotch on the shelf.


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