Dram Review: Bowmore 20 Years Old (Bottled by Intertrade)

[48.5%・20 Years Old・Distilled in 1965・Bottled in 1985・Intertrade Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

The nose boosts a marvellous curation of chocolate sponge cake, cherry jam, red tea and roasted capsicum. Aged ginger and ground cinnamon bringing out the luminousness of the Sherry casks as aged leather soothes the boldness. In time, the ashy core of the dram begins to unmask itself, faintly at first but gradually becoming more robust.

Palate & Finish:

The dram answers the nose with such a jammy presence, though the oak tannins do seem to arrive just a touch too soon. Condensed coulis of forest berries with cola gummy bears adding a sweet touch as the peat coolly glides in parallel. Thereafter the dram becomes quite peppery on the mid-palate.

Poached syrupy plums and seaweed mingling in the finish, ripe figs, oak and chocolate dust adding the fine finishing touches.

Thoughts:

I must confess I do not have a whole lot of experience with Bowmore distilled in the 1960s, other than a few 1964 and some late 1960s vintages; this one feels distinctively different to those expressions in that it feels quite a bit feistier, “peatier”. Still, the era specific fruitiness is present as is the magnificent Sherry influence unique to casks of that era and what we have here is one blissful dramming experience. I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to kill the bottle.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

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