The whiskies from Bowmore are a varied bunch, with there having been some truly spectacular releases over the decades. While the current core and travel retail ranges have been somewhat lacklustre, it seems that the independent bottlers have had more luck with regard to their releases from the distillery.
This week’s review focuses on an expression of Bowmore which was distilled in 1989, matured for 21 years in a bourbon cask before being bottled at 46% abv by Italian independent bottler, Silver Seal.
So, let’s jump right into the review!
Bowmore 1989 21 Years Old (Bottled by Silver Seal, 46% abv)
Colour: Deep gold
Nose: Initial entry presents a perfumed note followed by some acetone. Fruit salad, sea salt, dusky peat, creosote, white pepper, wet sand and green ferns emerge shortly after and are accompanies by oak and old books. There is a certain sprightly note intermingled with a certain mustiness in this nose, which makes it rather intriguing. Tarragon and incense develop later on. (21/25)
Palate: Initial entry presents a rich and velvety note which is redolent with wood spices such as nutmeg as well as barley sugar, oak, white pepper and peat. Fleeting fruity notes of lime and lemon emerge and are complemented by green ferns, white wine and green pepper. Rather soft and elegant on the palate. (22/25)
Finish: Medium to long on the finish, with the wood spice, green and white pepper, barley sugar, fruit and dusky peat intermingling rather nicely. (21/25)
Balance: A rather gentle expression of Bowmore which exhibits more of the fruit and oak rather than the peat. Dignified and elegant overall and the mouthfeel was oily and drying in equal measure. (21/25)
This expression was savoured at The Auld Alliance in the middle of last year and provides a nice contrast to the rather lacklustre official bottlings that are currently available.
I am very much of the opinion that it would be worth spending one’s money on independent expressions of Bowmore rather than the modern official bottlings as they provide so much more character for your money.
That being said, I wouldn’t say no to any of the Bowmore Trilogy (White, Gold and Black) or the Bicentenary if someone offered it to me!
Until the next review, have a wonderful week ahead.
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