After my first Highland Park/North British blend, I wondered what would happen if I added other components of Edrington's lineup to the mix. Bunnahabhain, while not currently under their ownership, has been a longstanding element of their blends.
•17 mL Signatory North British 16 Year CS
•5 mL Highland Park 12 Year
•5 mL Highland Park 15 Year
•3 mL Bunnahabhain 12 Year
•3 mL water
North British/Highland Park/Bunnahabhain Blend
Nose: balanced grain and malt, thick sherry, polished oak, and mild peat come together, caramel, herbal/floral, berries. After adding a few drops of water, it becomes creamier, with more vanilla and berries, the malt and grain integrate, and the sherry fades.
Taste: initial subdued grain/malt sweetness up front, sherry and berries take over around the middle, with undertones of oak, wood smoke, and peat at the back, fading out through slightly salty malt. After dilution, the malt and grain integrate, the saltiness comes in more early, the sherry fades into the background and integrates with the peat.
Finish: vegetal, grain, moderate oak, sherry residue, hints of peat
As Florin noted on my post reviewing Bunnahabhain 12 Year, it almost has too much flavor and that quality is noticeable here. I don't think I've ever had an unpeated single malt dominate a blend as much as Bunnahabhain does. This might have worked better with an unsherried Bunnahabhain as that felt like the component that was overwhelming the Highland Park, so further experiments will be warranted.
4 hours ago