Bowmore 16yo 1989/2006 (45%, Gordon & MacPhail, Secret Stills 4.1, Sherry Hogsheads #7049 & 7050, 650 bottles)

To be honest, there is no Bowmore on the label, but it’s somewhat like the SMWS bottles with codes, everyone knows that in this case, distillery number four is Bowmore and this is the first Bowmore released in this series. Probably a way to market the Whisky or as usual, they weren’t allowed to use the distillery name. This year, the seventeenth Bowmore was released in this series.

Like with many Gordon & MacPhail bottlings, it is reduced, this time to 45% ABV. I am a fan of cask strength Whiskies, but I learned to appreciate these reduced Whiskies more. Is it age? I’m a bit held back only by the fact that not every Whisky likes to be reduced. Let’s hope it’s not the case with this one.

Color: Full Gold

Nose: Nice peat. Spicy and rather perfumy. Malty and fresh. Almonds and clay, and for such a ‘young’ whisky, the peat smells rather old. Hints of smoke. There’s also some strange ‘smelly meaty sweetness’ happening here, I can’t quite put my finger on. Not bad actually.

Taste: Sweet with cardboard and some peat. No smoke? Tar, sweet licorice and some sour wood. Anis seeds and ash. Not in your face and even milder than the nose predicted. It’s quite sweet actually. It lacks a bit of complexity, that would have fitted the nose.

A decent sherried Islay Whisky, that probably suffered from reduction. Again one I would have loved to taste before reduction, because it is always interesting to try the combination of an Islay Whisky from Sherry casks. It’s also a bit too sweet

Points: 86

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