Dram Review: Bowmore Aged 25 Years (Bottled Circa 2004-2005)

[43.0%・Bottled Circa 2004-2005・ 25 Years Old・Original Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

Full and rich at 43%, heavier tones of herbal and vegetative tones, milky, vanilla sundae sauce with some over-ripen fruits. Dirty peat and oily fudge in time giving a rounded experience.

Palate & Finish:

Strawberry preserve infused with cloves and dirty peat smoke, the peat inspired qualities are mellowed out by the Sherry sweetness, making for a decently balanced finish.

Thoughts:

An expressive Sherried Bowmore without being too special. Rather nice.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Wemyss Malts Bowmore Nostalgic 70’s Flavour

[57.4%・22 Years Old・Distilled in 1995・Bottled in 2018・ Wemyss Malts Bottling for KUO, F.A.T, Aqua Vitae & Spirits Salon・Single Cask Release of 210 Bottles]

Nose:

A bacon smokiness cuts through the sweet soapy aromas, hint of burnt plastic to go with the barbecue smoke.

Palate & Finish:

Vibrantly juicy with the tropical white fruits with just a brute oomph of smoke to prop up the backbone, certainly has this rawness to it.

The spiciness carries forward to the finish, eases out with some pepper and barbecued pineapples.

Thoughts:

For me this is a fun modern Bowmore that has character, I’m not too sure how it resembles 70s expressions but I suppose these days we are all nostalgic of the good old days, simpler times of fun IB Bowmore.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: Bowmore Aged 26 Years The Vintner’s Trilogy French Oak Barrique

Style: Sweet and Delicate

Nose:

Ruby grapes dipped into chocolate, raisins and almonds building up some beautiful sweetness. Cinnamon stick, cloves, orange drops sitting at the deep. Black pepper and ginger slices stacking up to a higher order. Distant sea spray, a touch of grilled sea shells. Sweet and elegant.

Palate:

More ruby grapes and tropical fruits parading in cheerfully. Limoncello, cigar box, orange drops, bountiful sweetness converging beautifully at the tip. Subtle, fragrant floral touches around the edge, ginger slices, peppermint, followed by roasted almonds, chocolate, cherry puree while wood spice glowing gently. Hints of bland flour powder dusting over the malt, which is cleverly masked by the wine-y sweetness.

Finish:

Red grapes, more cherries and dark chocolate lingering nicely with a touch of oak.

Thoughts:

So this little gem is double matured, 13 years in ex-Bourbon barrels and then 13 more in French oak wine barriques. Double maturation is a fickle friend, because it can be used to enhance the complexion of the whisky, or it can be used to hide flaws, or sometimes (and for this instance, maybe) both. Now it does feel the wine barriques have imparted abundant wine-y sweetness, rather grape-driven notes to the expression, which links up well with other fruity elements to sketch a comfortable and luscious landscape, delicious enough to forget the malt do show slight weakness at the back. Quite a nice dram.

☆ [Recommended]

[48.7% | Original Bottling |2017 Bottled | Limited Edition | Cask Strength | *+]

-Esmond

Dram Review: Bowmore The Fèis Ìle Collect1°.n 2018 Aged 15 Years

[52.5%・15 Years Old・Bottled in 2018・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 3,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Quite salty and herbal from the cask, dense with chocolate dust, vanilla fudge, smoked peanuts and roasted almonds, in time it develops a certain musk from mushrooms and herbs.

Palate & Finish:

Dried figs and salted nuts, herbal with smoked black tea as the leathery tannins carry notes of oyster shells, blood oranges and burnt wood staves.

Towards the vegetative side in the finish, chocolate mud cake and oak tannins channel through smoked nuts with some cinnamon dusted raisins.

Thoughts:

A modern Bowmore, quite a big dram relying on cask and strength, but not together necessarily.

Arguably too much cask going on but in saying that though, it is still coherent enough to please people who are not high proof addicts.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Whisky Review: Signatory Vintage Bowmore 2000 Aged 14 Years Cask Hand Picked by The Whisky Exchange

Style: Fruity and Floral

Nose:

Smoked ham, squid ink and dry barley mixing with some iodine blots. Followed by a layer of chilli and Sichuan pepper spice which buries a subtle honey mead-tropical fruits sweetness at a lower level. White fruits, nectarines coated with lemon balm gradually emerge, albeit at a lesser form. Mossy and mineral touches towards the end. A unexpectedly dry and tight aroma.

Palate:

Tropical fruits come to life and burst forward on the palate. Naval oranges and mangoes wrapped around with coconut cream. Surreal floral, soapy notes (yes, you heard me right) glazing over the rims of the sweetness – Throw in some Lavender salt, rosemary and eucalyptus oil, hmmmm, curious, but it’s fine. Then we have some nutmeg, squid ink, iodine and smoke barley to form a smoky, drier facet. More lemon balm and vanilla cream which give the spirit a steady base.

Finish:

Chewy mango sweetness hanging around, while smoke and herbs are on the retreat, a sweet and serene finish.

Thoughts:

A rather bright and tropical fruits-driven (well, not so much on the nose) Bowmore. The fruity core holds strong while there is a bit of everything built into the spirit, whether it be peat smoke, mineral, spice, wood, herbs, etc… And then there is the infamous floral soapy notes as well, which, surprisingly in this case, not only did no damage but it actually enhanced the expression with this extra, unique fragrance. This makes me wonder if this is intentional, by refilling a soapy Bowmore cask? No matter what, the end result we have here is a vibrant, sweet and intriguing Bowmore.

✓ [Recommended if you like the Style / Distillery]

[54.4% | 2000 Distilled | 2014 Bottled | Cask Number 800093 | Matured in a Bourbon Barrel | 233 Bottled | Cask Strength | Non Coloured | T+]

Dram Review: Scotch Malt Sales Bowmore Aged 12 Years

[57.0%・12 Years Old・Distilled Circa 1970s・Bottled Circa 1989・Scotch Malt Sales Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Happy to say this is not even close to being hot and overwhelming, in fact it is pretty poised and relaxed, sweet peat drawing from the syrupy base as molten salted caramel gracefully flows out.

Palate & Finish:

Substantial, luscious mouthfeel of sexy confectionery sweetness, stringing out soft fruits, milk chocolate buttons and smoked bacon.  Peat and minerals lightly sparkle in the tail

An extension of  pretty stone fruits and creamy almonds.

Thoughts:

Bravo, a powerful delivery on the palate but still delicate with the details.

The kind of specs that doesn’t inspire much confidence if you see it on a current release but so well executed with the late 70s distillate.

Some food for thought perhaps..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Scotch Malt Sales Bowmore Aged 18 Years

[57.0%・18 Years Old・Distilled Circa 1970s・Scotch Malt Sales Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

Boosting an indulgent thickness, chocolate, smoked figs and other mushed Sherry fruits get churned with toffee and caramelised popcorn, stupendously expressive.

Palate & Finish:

The Sherry influence is phenomenal, fragrant dark fruits carrying this certain sensual saltiness from the cask. The aged Sherry note folds together with walnuts with the strength of the dram bringing out blackcurrant and dark cherries.

Syrup drenched strawberries and raw chocolate with a mild nuttiness to it, the Jamón saltiness stretches to a mesmerising end.

Thoughts:

Now, this is one substantial digestif, a satisfying treat to cap off a perfect night.. the peat of 70s Bowmore probably got lost amidst all that Sherry but who’s to say for certain the dram would fare better..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

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

Whisky Review: Bowmore “Springtide”

Style: Rich and Spicy

Nose:
Intense spices wrapping around massive toffee, followed by stewed tropical fruits, fresh tropical fruits, fresh figs, dried figs and strawberry jam. Flaring chili flakes and robust peppermint. Oily, dense texture. Fisherman friends, smoke lightly reeling while the aroma gently placed on top a stack of tobacco leaves.

Palate:
Condensed flavours rolling onto the heavy side, massive figs, fat toffees and tobacco leaves. Kiwi (?) fruits reduced to syrup, smoke kicking in with hints of basil salmon. A thin layer of oak oil, caramel fudge opens up to more solid strawberry jam. Fragrant fruits undertone gradually escalates to the surface, dry oak dips in towards the end.

Finish:
Roasted figs drizzled with chocolate, peppermint tail. Light fragrant fruits to finish.

Thoughts:
A Bowmore sitting on the heavy side loaded with plenty of figs and spices. I remember I absolutely hated this when I first try it, but after all this time, now coming back to this, Bowmore has become much more likable now. I suppose palate does develop after all these whisky experiences. The fragrant spirit produced by this distillery is truly one of a kind and carries the heavy sherry body to the next level. Remarkable.

✓ [Recommended if you like the style/ distillery]

[54.9% • 2012 Bottled • Original Bottling • No Age Statement • Non Chill Filtered • Limited Edition • Travel Retail Exclusive • First-fill Oloroso Cask Matured • Discontinued]

Dram Review: Elements of Islay Bowmore Bw7

[53.2%・16 Years Old・Distilled in 2001・Bottled in 2017・Elixir Distillers Bottling・Limited Release]

Nose:

The brine combines with big Sherry, a meaty base with all the glorious characters of chocolate mud cake drizzled in dark plum sauce; dirty smoke adding such an interesting facet to things, rounding off with sweet smoke, molasses and barley sweetness on full show later.

Palate & Finish:

Chocolate dust and toffee syrup with this almost drying, oily Demerara sugar note, with a splash of cinnamon seasoning the peat driven herbal note. It becomes earthy and smoky from the mid-palate with some burnt toast note.

Chocolate sauce, sea salt and iodine in the finish, lasting rather long.

Thoughts:

Aye! this is one feisty little dram!

Size doesn’t matter in this case I suppose..

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas