Whisky Review #141: Bowmore 1999 15 Years Old (Douglas Laing Old Particular)

Hello everyone, it has been a very long time since my last review and for that I must apologise. Those of you who have been followers of this blog would be well aware that inertia can be a difficult thing to overcome and inspiration tends to strike at the most unusual of times.

Well, here we are!

Bowmore is one of my favourite distilleries and I have had the opportunity to sample some stellar expressions over the years, both old and new. The distillery has cultivated a cult following due to their releases from bygone eras and it has been mentioned by many an individual that the modern expressions tend to unfortunately pale in comparison to their older counterparts.

That being said, some expressions do tend to stand out and today’s review would definitely be one of them.

This week’s review focuses on an expression of Bowmore which was distilled in the dying embers of the previous millennium (1999) and was matured in a refill butt for 15 years before being bottled by Douglas Laing for their Old Particular range at their preferred strength of 48.4% ABV.

So, let’s jump right into the review!

Bowmore 1999 15 Years Old (Douglas Laing Old Particular, 48.4% ABV)

Colour: Burnished copper

Nose: Initial entry presents hints of stewed red fruits and raisins, followed by clay, red wine, peat, rancio, camphor and oak. With time, the peat becomes more prominent and is followed by creosote, cinnamon, walnuts and smoke. (20/25)

Palate: Initial entry presents more of the stewed red fruits from the nose, followed by peat, sea salt, rancio, white pepper and oak. With time, hints of lime, cinnamon, nutmeg, lapsang souchong and walnuts emerge and are very much in keeping with the nose. (21/25)

Finish: Long on the finish, with the red fruits, peat, rancio, oak and nutmeg bringing things to a satisfying close. (21/25)

Balance: A relatively well-balanced and tasty expression of Bowmore which showcases the distillery house style from just before the turn of the millennium while also displaying the rounded sherried nature from the maturation process. The use of refill sherry in this case has definitely aided in the crafting of this balanced dram and it was definitely enjoyable. (21/25)

Rating: 83/100

This expression of Bowmore was purchased earlier this year on auction for a relatively decent price and has impressed most that have sampled it since. Not much is left in the bottle, but I fully intend to savour the remainder.

Until the next review, have a great week ahead and stay safe!

Brendan

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