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In celebration of this year’s recent Fèis Ìle, aka the Islay Festival of Music and Malt, Scotch whisky brand Bunnahabhain released their Limited Edition Canasta Cask Matured Whisky in the U.S. market.
Established in 1881, the Bunnahabhain distillery is one of the most remote distilleries on the Isle of Islay. The name Bunnahabhain is Scottish Gaelic for “mouth of the river” in reference to the distillery’s natural spring water source, the nearby Margadale River. The distillery’s sustainability efforts have resulted in Bunnahabhain having the first Zero Net distillation on Islay.
Founded in 1986, Fèis Ìle is the annual Islay Whisky Festival where the culture of Islay is shared with the rest of the world by the Scottish locals. Scotch whisky enthusiasts worldwide make their way to Scotland’s famous “whisky coast” for the weeklong celebration which typically takes place at the end of May. The event includes traditional music, tours, ceilidhs, Gaelic lessons, golf, and bowling while each of Islay’s nine distilleries offer exclusive tastings to those within the global whisky community who’ve made the long journey.
Bunnahabhain Canasta Cask Fèis Ìle 2023 is a limited edition single malt whisky made from unpeated barley and bottled at 102.4 proof. It is matured in rare William and Humbert Canasta sherry casks which once held a blend of Oloroso sherry (75%) and a blend (25%) of Palomino and Pedro Ximenez sherries. Along with the Canasta Cask Fèis Ìle 2023, at this year’s Fèis Ìle Bunnahabhain also debuted two other expressions: 1998 Manzanilla Cask Finish and 17-year-old Triple Cask Moine.
“The idea for this release was inspired by our visitors who journey to the Bunnahabhain Distillery for Fèis Ìle, where we invite them into our iconic Warehouse 9, to taste drams directly from casks,” said Bunnahabhain’s Master Distiller Brendan McCarron in a prepared statement. “There has been so much joy and love born out of this experience. So much so that we wanted to give people who are unable to make the trip to the distillery the chance to enjoy the Warehouse 9 experience wherever they may be.”
For those who couldn’t make this year’s festival, and for the first time ever, Bunnahabhain launched a virtual reality experience which allows you to fully immerse yourself in a 360-degree tour of the distillery along with a whisky sampling with the distillery team.
Released in June the limited edition Bunnahabhain Canasta Cask Fèis Ìle 2023 is available in select U.S. markets, including Texas, Florida, Northern and Southern California, and the New York metro area.
Tasting Notes: Bunnahabhain Fèis Ìle 2023 Canasta Cask Matured
Vital Stats: 124 proof (51.2% ABV), unpeated barley, 750 ml bottle MSRP $241.99.
Appearance: Burnt amber.
Nose: Fragrant salt and spice notes initially shine before flavor notes of orchard fruit, hints of diluted black coffee, caramel, old wood, and golden raisins come into play.
Palate: Lush red fruit and spices permeate the front of the palate followed by notes of black pepper, vanilla clove, deep oak, and salted dry roasted nuts, with hints of spicy buttered toffee, dry sherry, and black truffles.