Bowmore Week – Day 7: Bowmore 21yo (43%, OB, Red Stripe, 750 ml)

Bowmore WeekAnd we’ve come already to the last day of the Bowmore Week. Up untill now we’ve had some pretty good new Bowmores and two Indie Bowmores from Cadenheads that were pretty good too, albeit somewhat different. What to pick to finish off this week. Yes why not, why not get an old bottle of Bowmore to have a small glimpse of what Bowmore was about in the old days. Pre FWP if I may say so.

Bowmore 21yo (43%, OB, Red Stripe, 750 ml)Color: Copper gold.

Nose: Fat, creamy peat. Even if you put the glass away across the table. this aroma will find your nose. Very well balanced, and has a great sweetish underlying sweetness to it. Hints of paper and cardboard. No problem here. Sweat and most definitely some old bottle effect. Smallest hint of smoke and an even smaller hint of ashes. Most definitely no FWP nor is it perfumy. Clay and raspberry jam. No heavy or in your face peat but candy sweet, elegantly peated Bowmore. Compared to newer expressions, this is more about fruit, less about the flowers.

Taste: Peat with a little bite. Dryer than expected and less balanced than the nose. It’s about (old) peat and estery, fruity, sweetness. The clay emerges here too, and even some putty. Finishes even a bit bitter on wood (and earwax).

The sample I tasted here came from an almost empty bottle, and maybe this Whisky doesn’t take air so well, because if memory serves me well I found this one better earlier (more fruit on the palate), or maybe this Whisky is a victim of batch variation. Still this is a good Bowmore and I guess, a fresh-er bottle would score higher.

And the Bowmore week is now (almost) over. What conclusions can we make? First of all there are a lot of Bowmores out there, with lots of different profiles, ages and strengths, so the seven I tasted here are far from representative, but we could conclude that Bowmore is getting pretty good again. The standard 12yo is very good and an easy pick for any bang-for-you-buck list. The Tempest range is looking good, and the same goes for the Devil’s Casks. Let’s finish off, that I’m glad to see a late nineties Sherry Butt destined to be hand filled at the distillery (#1215) only shows, even more than the notorious Devil’s Casks, how good Bowmore on Sherry can get. More please!

Points: 87

Thanks Andre (Forrest) for bringing this bottle to my Tomatin (& Bowmore) tasting event.

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