Bowmore 37yo 1968/2006 (43.4%, OB, Bourbon, 708 bottles)

It’s Islay time! oops, maybe that was from Ardbeg. Well Bowmore is also from Islay and both are in the same time-zone. I see it’s the first Bowmore here, so I choose a potentially good one. Obviously not from a single cask, since no Bourbon Cask (Barrel or Hogshead) can yield 708 bottles.

 

Color: Full Gold.

Nose: Wow, wow, wait for it, gathering words for this…wow. Clay, noble peat. Thick, unbelievable great nose, but you’ve guessed that already. it’s from Bourbon casks, but this has so much great red fruit in it. Strawberries, blackberries, red currant hard candies. Butterscotch. Distant waves breaking on the beach in the night. Bonfire that has almost gone out. I can’t even remember a Whisky that smelled as good as this. (Well, that’s not completely true). I sincerely hope this will taste as good as this and I will even consider its price to be fair. This is a 100 points nose, this smells perfect!

Taste: Fruity, peat merged with sea clay and the body’s actually a bit thin. All those fruits from the nose are there again. Kippers and tar, remember this is not a big body, so this is all very elegantly proportioned. There is some wood in there, and that gives the body a slightly spicy toasty, Bourbony edge, but in no way does it play even a big role. It’s there to underline the rest, it stands in service. The finish is great though.

Still available for around £999.00

Points: 93

Thanks Serge for handing me this sample.

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The Benriach 37yo 1968/2006 (52%, OB, Batch 3, Hogshead #2712, 157 bottles)

Benriach, also known as The BenRiach. Founded in 1897, sold to Longmorn Distilleries Co. two years later and mothballed from 1903 to 1965. Wow, that’s a long time! Interesting about Benriach is that a lot of experiments were done there during the seventies (and eighties). Tests with peat, new oak etc. Lot’s of those experiments are released today.

Benriach issue several different vintages in batches. The first batch was released in 2004, the year Billy Walker bought the distillery along with Intra Trading. (These guys also bought Glendronach in 2008). Not a lot of experimenting with the bottle to be reviewed now. A bottle from the third batch released in 2006. Just a nice little hogshead filled in 1968 yielding only 157 bottles, quite the angels share, but still 52% ABV.

Color: Full gold, almost orange.

Nose: Waxy, elegant and promising body. Fruity, apple sauce, peaches and dried apricots. Dare I say waxy? Some dry powder and paper. Hint of banana. Creamy light vanilla. Crème brûlée and custard. Also some almonds and a slight hint of licorice are thrown in for good measure. Very balanced. Also it has a promising sweetness you would expect from a Bourbon. Very likeable nose, can’t go wrong with this. If you like fruity, you’ll love this!

Taste: Very elegant wood and a great creamy sweetness. Chewy mild banana and peach yoghurt and a hint of red or black fruit (candylike). A pinch of smoke in the back, and obviously some wood, but that’s ok, it hardly gives off some bitterness. A bit short and light finish with a slight inbalance.

Enjoyable, recommendable and very fruity. It could have gained triple A status if it would have some added bits that would counterpart the fruit. It is good/great, but lacks some complexity you would have expected of such an old malt.

Points: 89