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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

October 2, 2013


Tasting three opposite Bowmore

I'm just back from Whisky Live Paris, which was, in my opinion, one of the best. It was the tenth edition and as is customary, a special bottling had been done for the event, a young sleek Bowmore. Excellent choice! Today we'll taste it along two new wine-matured officials for good measure. You may expect some contrasts...

Bowmore 13 yo 2000/2013 (54.1%, Signatory Vintage for Whisky Live Paris 10th Anniversary, hogshead, cask #1429, 286 bottles)

Bowmore 13 yo 2000/2013 (54.1%, Signatory Vintage for Whisky Live Paris 10th Anniversary, hogshead, cask #1429, 286 bottles) Five stars Colour: white wine. Nose: ultra-chiselled! 'Opening your bedroom's windows early in the morning on the shores of the isle of Islay.' Or something like that. Seawater, lemon juice and peat smoke in equal amounts. Nothing more, but you can't beat this. With water: as almost always with Bowmore, there's more humus, damp earth, farmyard... Mouth (neat): just 'yes!' Exactly right, on the same infernal trio, brine, lemon juice and a fairly ashy peat smoke. With water: citrus up, it becomes smoother. From lemon to pink grapefruits. Finish: good length, still chiselled. Comments: distillate-forward, my favourite way. Perfect statemental choice (what?) SGP:557 - 90 points.

Bowmore 10 yo 'The Devil's Cask' (56.9%, OB, first fill sherry, 2013)

Bowmore 10 yo 'The Devil's Cask' (56.9%, OB, first fill sherry, 2013) Four stars and a half Colour: reddish amber. Nose: the opposite of the 2000 and yet it remains very 'Bowmore'. The combination of the sherry with a very smoky late-period Bowmore creates a feeling of gunflints, tobacco and zwetschke jam (plums) that's very peculiar. Then it becomes meatier, with quite some bacon and ham as well as a little strawberry jam. We're far from 'old style' sherry, this is more multilayered than 'integrated'. With water: more spices, around ginger, a little thuja wood, molecules ending with -ol, tar... Mouth (neat): devilish indeed, massively ashy and tarry, it's almost like a blend of strong lapsang souchong with plum juice. With water: more tar, more ashes, more smoke, less plums. Finish: long and very tarry. The wine's fruits have been defeated. A little ginger again in the aftertaste, hinting at European oak but it may well not be European oak. Comments: as a 'Bowmore', I feel it's got a little too much sweet sherry. As a variant, I think that worked very, very well. Quite spectacular. SGP:657 - 88 points.

Bowmore 23 yo 1989/2013 'Port Cask Matured' (50.8%, OB)

Bowmore 23 yo 1989/2013 'Port Cask Matured' (50.8%, OB) Four stars Colour: orangey amber. Nose: this baby's having a little trouble after the previous ones, the smoke being more discreet. We're actually much more on red fruits, plums, cherries, raspberries... In the background, more farmy (hints of cowstable) elements but very little lavender or violets if any. Mellower than expected. With water: once again it's struggling a bit after the big young ones. I seem to find a little geranium water, maybe rosehip or hawthorn. Mouth (neat): does smoked mulled wine exist? Or smoked fruitcake? Oranges, sweet wine, blackberries, more plums, cinnamon, cloves, star anise... With water: Seville oranges and more honey now. Orange blossom honey? Finish: medium length. More and more oranges, a little pepper, more cinnamon... Mulled wine indeed. Comments: a good one but maybe only for Christmas time. I liked the younger ones better. SGP:555 - 85 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Bowmore I've tasted so far







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