Whisky Review: SMWS 3.212 Bowmore “Anti-aphrodisiac” 1994 Aged 19 Years

Style: Fruity and Smoky

Nose:
A deep and riveting aroma on the nose. Lemon citrus, apricots and mineral peat resonating beautifully, nice. Bacon chunks and seaweed lightly roasted, passionfruit and mint garnishing on fizzing Schweppes. Orange confectionaries carried by chilli spice. Barbeque smoke rolling at the back.

Palate:
Resounding lemon-orange citrus beaming positively on the palate. Smoky water, more apricots, sultanas gathering and singing at the core. Bacon strips and lime stones building up slowly while chilli spice heating up the melting pot. Dark liquorice, dried apricots bits, cheddar with a touch of malt syrup. Fizzing off to a Moscato finish.

Finish:
Charred oak, hints of sea shells and bonfire. The influence of red currants gradually growing, sweet Riesling and dried fruits echoing till the end.

Thoughts:
This Bowmore is my first-ever society bottling I have bought. Interestingly (and also now with a sense of irony), it was introduced to me by none other than the Whisky Bible, the controversial Mr. Jim Murray, gave a pretty high mark which prompted me buy this bottle. A few years on and wow, life is always full of surprises isn’t it. Now back to this dram, while there is minimal influence from the sherry butt (4th fill?), the distillate is in pristine condition, all clean and balanced. Nothing crazy but it is definitely a decent Bowmore.

☆ [Recommended]


[55.7% Independent Bottling 1994 Distilled Single Cask 534 Bottled Natural Cask Strength Non Chill Filtered Non Coloured Ex-Sherry Refill Butt *]

Whisky Review: Bowmore 2000 Hand-Filled Cask #2495

Style: Dark Sherry and Smoky

Nose:
Begins with liquorice roots and tobacco which sink very deep and anchoring firmly at the base. Abundant dark fruits filling up the rest of the chamber, maple syrup, raisins, red currants with a touch of dried apricots. Prosciutto, wet cardboard, peppermint, cinnamon wood gently charred. Salty caramel melting and trickling down onto the mineralic peat. Subtle mango notes, steamed pāua and bonfire ashes dancing at the tail. Massive sherry with some maritime funkiness, crazy, but crazy good.

Palate:
Incredible amount of dark fruits rolling out on the palate, very big, intense, viscous. The sludgy sherry is deftly lifted up and counterbalanced by a clean touch of green tea leaves, five-spice and freshly-lit cigar. Peppercorn flashes, more depth as Black Forest cake and overripe cherries unfolding at mid-level. Umami, salty peat bog, Limoncello taking a splash of chilli pepper water. Another wave of black currants and tropical fruits, very fragrant. Liquorice roots leading to earthy malt towards the end, taro and cassava riding on a final spicy push.

Finish:
Black currants and expresso gradually reverting to a lighter form of sherry. Goji berries and ruby grapes, peppermint, bacon strips and cigarette smoke lingering till the end.

Thoughts:
Finally, I laid my hands on this famous Bowmore Hand-Filled (it wasn’t cheap), I generally do not make a point on the colour of the whisky, but man, when this Bowmore is almost as dark as soy sauce, it does give you a good idea of what you are getting into. Dark fruits are running rampant and overwhelming at times which makes me wonder if this super sherry bomb has gone a bit too far, but surprisingly, the clean spice and maritime smoke from the distillate cleverly cuts into the richness, balances and elevates the expression. Sweet, rich, reasonably complex and delicious. Love it.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[56.9% Original Bottling 2000 Distilled 2018 Bottled 143 Bottles Single Cask 1st Fill Sherry Puncheon Cask Number: 2495| Cask Strength **]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: Adelphi Selection Bowmore 1997 20 Years Old


Style: Fruity, Slightly Smoky and Complex

Nose:
Warm pomegranate and cherry sauce pouring onto a sizzling steak. A pinch of sea salt, thyme placed on the side. Tropical fruits breaking out of the shell. Figs, dates and chocolate fudge placed on top of spearmint paste garnish. Umami anchoring at the bottom while white floral (am I also detecting the faintest hint of violets?!) overtone floating up in the air. Busy and quite complex.

Palate:
Cranberries and dark cherries bursting forward on the palate. Peppermint chocolate chip ice cream in golden liquid form, slightly gamey, also a bit briney, feels like a jumbo Pacific oyster sprinkled with black pepper. Liquorice roots, camphor and some tobacco leaves to follow. Tropical fruit punch forming all the necessary base notes. Fig jam, melting chocolate pot and Nutella mixing with some hearty cornflakes. Paprika, nutmeg and chilli touch at the tail.

Finish:
Blackcurrants, ruby grapes and milk chocolate. Another tiny splash of brine, creating a sweet and velvety finish.

Thoughts:
Modern Bowmore hitting top form, glorious sherry shining beautifully while leaving enough space for the distillate to be integrated into the expression with near-perfection. The pace, the elements on display and its arrangement all feels so neat, natural and comfortable. Delicious, coherent and surprisingly complex. Dangerously addictive, this one.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[56.3% | Independent Bottling | 1997 Distilled | 2018 Bottled | Single Cask | Cask Number: 2414 | 601 Bottles | Cask Strength **-]

-Esmond

Whisky Review: La Maison du Whisky Artist #7 Bowmore 2001 Over 15 Years

Style: Spicy, Dry and Fruity

Nose:
Sharp alcohol carrying ultra-charged spearmint and black peppercorns, a distinct tone of burnt plastic hiding behind, funky. The attack gradually mellows down to tropical fruits, cooked paw paw, then moving towards lemon aloe vera. Spice still growling in the background, coal ambers heating up, some earthiness, but the smoke does not feel very obvious here, curious. Sweet yellow mango refluxes, barley, hints of white flower at the tail.

Palate:
Sweet tropical fruits riding on top of a massive medicinal spices wave. Aloe vera, green leaves, white chalk and raw bananas infused with earthy peat. High-power ester fruits ringing the maritime bell, Florina peppers. Liquorice roots, followed by a gorgeous malty bite, all thick and oily, very nice. Honeymead, red chilli heating up. Oysters, mineral rocks, grated chocolate and ginger. A hint of navel orange and coffee grounds to finish.

Finish:
Lemon aloe vera purring softly, liquorice, dark chocolate and charred oak on the side.

Thoughts:
This Bowmore might be a bit divisive as it falls onto the raw/rogue side of the spectrum. Well, the make of Bowmore does have many facets and styles, you might not like all of them, but it is always fun to find out what you are going to get. Dry, mineralic and quite powerful yet it is still reasonably fruity. It feels there are very different elements pieced together without too much synchronisation. Not disjointed, but the levels are quite distinct and loosely stitched together, fairly complex with unexpected twists and turns along the way, making it a rather fun experience.

☆ [Recommended]

[56.7% Independent Bottling 2001 Distilled 2017 Bottled Cask Number #20115 286 Bottles Hogshead *]

-Esmond