Over to Islay for a Bowmore. This one was distilled on 25th September 1998 and spent 18 years slumbering in a refill ex-Bourbon barrel. One of 108 bottles. Lightly Peated flavour profile.
Nose: Pine as promised, but with oh so much more! A whole host of green notes here, the pine, cut grass, spearmint and hedgerows are fused with the aromas of freshly cut garden flowers. Red berries add fruitiness whilst peat smoke is ever so delicate but still running through the entire nose. There’s a hint of varnish which nods to the age of this whisky and some good quality casking. A few drops of water heightens the red berries adding a layer of juiciness to them as well as some real saccharine in the form of Haribo gummies.
Taste: More peat now – lightly smoked kippers and a real savoury quality akin to a smoked ham joint. There’s still plenty of green notes on the palate with mint and interestingly spring onion?! getting in on the act. The smoking is part sweet, part medicinal, and sits very nicely without ever feeling overpowering.
Finish: Medium to long with a lovely fading astringency and the flavours of smoked meats.
My pick of this month’s outturn (in terms of what I’ve managed to taste so far). You know, I’ve not been the biggest fan of Bowmore’s official bottlings over the last few years, but have found a few really good independently bottled versions. This is certainly one of them. A wonderful interplay between sweet, savoury and smoky showing balance and a real depth of interesting flavours. Highly recommended.
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