Here we have a Bowmore oldie. This is the Bowmore Dusk, that was finished for two years in a Bordeaux Wine Cask (sometimes called a Claret finish). In 1999 Bowmore Claret was released, also a Bordeaux Wine Casked Whisky (12.000 bottles, 56% ABV), and was at the time a lot more expensive. Bowmore Dusk was introduced in 2000 whilst Bowmore Dawn, that had a second maturation in (Ruby) Port pipes, was introduced one year later. Both got the same look as Bowmore darkest, that had a second maturation in Oloroso Sherry Casks. Darkest wasn’t considered a speciality as Dawn and Dusk were, so Darkest was more accepted as part of the “standard” range and still exists today. Dusk and Dawn are no longer made, and hardly available anymore. The three were also sold together as a three-piece set (3 x 200 ml). Back to Dusk. There is some batch variation over the years, so there are versions available that are much lighter in color than the one I’ll be reviewing here…
Color: Copper Gold
Nose: Smoke pops out first. Very nice organic and peated smoke. Peat smoke, bonfire at the beach, at night. That sort of thing. Next some coastal freshness, with butter and something smelly from the animal world. Animal sweat? Clean oak, without any toast. A little bit powdery. Most definitely a wine finish. Caramel and vanilla, but the wine doesn’t allow them to be full, or round. They are around as an aroma, but more spiky in nature. Still this is all about smoke and luckily the wine doesn’t take over or ruin the bonfire at the beach party.
Taste: Sweet, caramel, toffee, fatty peat and lots of licorice. Medicinal. Great body, full and balanced. Long finish. After a long time, the finish that started out creamy, shows some woody sourness and the wine part shifts the whole into a slight unbalanced state, that is less sweet and creamy. But as I said that is way in the back of the finish. Not overly complex, but the wine finish is done with taste. Very drinkable. The ABV seems just right, and I can’t imagine this needing any water.
When I had this a long time ago, the taste is what I always remembered, the nose, well I completely forgot how nice this actually smells… I have to admit this is a tastefully crafted Whisky and I appreciate it better now, than I did back then (old score was 84). Here everything fits together nicely. Well done.
Is it just me, or do these older bottles look way better than the new ones? (Also true for Old Malt Cask bottles imho).