The nose brings sherry, vanilla and a hint of smoke/peat. On the palate it is sweet, first caramel then spicy, with salt on the end. It brings on a bit of spicy notes with a medium-long finish. It certainly warms as it goes down. Some describe an iodine-like finish. It is also leaves a bit of an oily or light syrup coat on the tongue.
This is a strong whisky, the sweetness still overlays the characteristic aggressiveness and punch of an Islay scotch. Like many Islay, it is likely to be an aquired taste, not a place for someone new to single malts is likely to venture initially. Once here, there is a lot of character and depth to be explored.
I struggle with the pronunciation of some single malts, this distillery is one good example. According to the Master of Malt, this one is ‘BOO-na-HAven’.