Whisky Review: Bowmore 1988 Vintage Edition

Style: Soapy and Complex


Sea spray, then immediately there is the er… Parma violet soap on the second layer. Behind we have tropical fruits rolling in – bright pineapple, coconut and passion fruits. Vanilla milk, chilli heat followed by a second wave of martime notes, seaweed and gentle tar smoke to finish. A rather complex nose.


Soapy Parma violets have successfully fused with more bright tropical fruits. Perfumed char-grilled pineapple? Lavender salt, maybe more lavender than salt. Green kiwis, coconut and rose petals. The floral note toning down towards the back, and we have some lovely sea salt chocolate and stewed tropical fruits towards the end.


Perfumed floral becomes less distinct and somehow synchronized with other elements quite nicely now. Simmering tropical fruits and chocolate to finish.


I took a gamble when I bought this bottle at the airport, knowing that this is coming from the infamous period of Bowmore. Unfortunately it didn’t work out as I hoped, as the floral soapy notes, which I am not a fan of, are pretty much on the foreground. But in the same time I feel some attempts were made to integrate the perfumed floral signatures into a more approachable framework, if that’s the case, I think it has partially worked. Anyway, putting the French… ahem, perfumed notes aside, it is actually a complex, nicely structured Bowmore.

[47.8% • Original Bottling • 1988 Distilled • 2017 Bottled • Aged 29 Years • Non Chill Filtered • Matured in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks • x]