Bowmore 12yo 1988/2000 (50%, Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask, Sherry, 702 bottles)

The Master of Malt version of an eighties Bowmore did not turn out to be a FWP-Bowmore after all. Looking though the whiskies that have accumulated at Master Quill’s castle, I found another eighties Bowmore. This time an oldie by Douglas Laing. At one point in time, the Laing Brothers thought they would have to show the public what are the ‘young’ whiskies in their Old Malt Cask range, so decided on red lettering and a red tube. Somehow this ‘experiment’ didn’t last for very long, so this look is rather scarce. Lets see if this time we have a genuine FWP-Bowmore on our hands? Is it lavender & violets or peat & smoke?

Color: Light Copper Gold.

Nose: Butter, popcorn, quite some hints of flowers, but not like a FWP. Peat and a decent amount of smoke. Deep almost brooding kind of licorice. Clay, smelly pond in summer, probably a sulphur compound. This organic smell is actually great in this Whisky. Ashes and gravy, meaty.

Taste: Nice elegant Islay. Soft tasty peat, with smoke on top. Lots of caramel, toffee. Nothing is over the top. Perfect non-sugary sweetness in the background. But as with the Master of Malt version, it breaks down a bit towards the end, and has a sweet yet ‘light’ finish. There is something else that is pretty similar with the Master of Malt bottling. Again, the acidity quickly follows the sweetness. They somehow are linked. Do I detect some soap at the end of the finish? If it’s there it doesn’t hurt the whisky much. On occasions it takes the properties of a rum.

Not a perfect Whisky. Has some distillation faults (butter) and some issues with the finish and stability (with air), but overall it’s a very drinkable and likeable Whisky. Again not a victim of FWP.

Beware, this whisky doesn’t take air very well, let this breathe and you’ll see how it breaks down in your glass. Break open a new deck of cards, invite some (lady) friends over for a nice and friendly game and drink the whole bottle in one evening, you’ll do yourself and the Laing Brothers a big favour.

Points: 88

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