This year Bowmore introduced, just like Macallan actually, a series of three bottles for travel Retail, without age statements but with names, and not any name, but names based on colors. Macallan tried it with the following nouns: Gold, Amber, Sienna (is that a color?) and Ruby. Bowmore are using the colors more as an adjective: Black Rock, Gold Reef and White Sands. The first two being also litre bottles. Non of the bottles have a great reputation and in case of some of these Macallan’s I have found out first hand that…well not that great. Now here is one of the three Bowmores, the most affordable of the three.
Color: Red orange gold, cognac
Nose: Nice peat and maritime smoke, rubber and tires, but mixed with some strong acidic fruitiness. lots of earwax too. Salty, tarry and smoked dried fish. Vanilla. The longer the glass breathes the more pronounced and likeable the fruit notes get. Starting with your typical red sour berries and moving into the black fruits Bowmores have long been known for. That can still be done Excellent nose if you ask me.
Taste: Ashes and watery. Oh no, it’s too thin! Brief dry Sherry attack, which quickly dissipates and transforms in paper and ashes. Actually behind this is a (burnt) caramel note, and quite a lot of it. The back label states that is has been “treated” with E150, but I get a lot of this. Damn shame. Bowmore have become so good they don’t need that! The taste is very simple and the Sherry didn’t handle all the water used for reduction too well. It shows potential but driven by the decision to bottle this at 40% ABV (Economics I guess), they somewhat ruined it. A little bit of Rochefort under my tongue.
Easily drinkable due to the strength, but ruined a bit by reduction. Still underneath (and the nose still shows it), this was a good Bowmore.