Age: No age statement
With a touch of smoke from our peated malted barley introduced during its creation and combined with a higher sherry influence, this special bottling offers the connoisseur an opportunity to try something truly unique and beguiling in nature.
This is how Bunnahabhain introduces Toiteach A Dhà on their website. It’s a nice piece of text, but I do think Bunna is selling their whisky short by only crediting it with a ‘touch of smoke’. The peaty influence on Toiteach A Dhà is unmistakable, especially when compared to Bunnahabhain’s regular unpeated expressions. And of course that’s the point of this bottling, for Toiteach means smoky in Gaelic. Heard that before? You’re very right, because A Dhà (‘two’ in Gaelic) is the successor to the Toiteach bottling originally launched in 2008. I’ll admit I was very unimpressed with the first Toiteach, so I went into this review with low expectations. But everyone loves a comeback kid, so I decided to try it anyway. As mentioned by Bunnahabhain, A Dhà has a higher sherry influence, and this has worked wonders to smooth out the rough edges present in the original Toiteach. I’m guessing a longer maturation may also have something to do with it, but for lack of an age statement I can’t be sure. I do want to mention the packaging on this Bunna, it’s so very classy! That swirl of smoke in combination with the black glass is giving Toiteach A Dhà a dark and mysterious look that fits the character of the whisky quite well. But let’s dive straight in, can Bunnahabhain Toiteach redeem itself?
Colour: Dark amber
Nose: This Toiteach is positively brimming with maritime energy. Smoked kippers lead the fray, richly seasoned with peppercorn and cinnamon. This gives way to aromas of hemp rope and kelp. But there’s more to this whisky than just coastal charm, as the sherry cask provides scents of Christmas cake and candied orange peel. There’s definitely some fried bacon here too. On the whole the nose is quite young, but without the rough patches of the original Toiteach. Very nice so far!
Palate: Oumph! Smoky, albeit less medicinal than on the nose. Over time there is more sweet spice developing, as the sherry cask takes hold. Chilli flakes and nutmeg arrive in sharp bursts, before mellowing out into orange marmalade and dried apricots. Towards the end there’s a pleasantly dry peatiness.
Finish: Not overly long, but packed with flavour. This Bunnahabhain provides a nice earthy aftertaste, with peat bogs and even a touch of mint.
Verdict: Toiteach A Dhà provides a lovely combination of smoke and sherry. It’s managed to up the ante on the original Toiteach with a certain rich, sumptuous elegance. The result is a much smoother drink that still retains some of the fun, brash youthfulness of its predecessor. Toiteach A Dhà is a huge improvement and proof that Bunnahabhain does know its way around smoke (Mòine also failed to convince me). In this case the application of peat is definitely not half-hearted and it seems the spirit has been aged more properly. Bunnahabhain Toiteach has gone from a whisky I disliked to one that I will happily recommend to my friends. Good stuff!
Value for money: 🤩🤩🤩🤩