Google Feis Ile Special, today Bowmore

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

May 22, 2023


  Many Islay, in celebration of Feis Ile 2023 and of the Queen of the Hebrides


WF's Little Duos, today selected extreme indie Bowmore


Classic view of Bowmore Distillery in 2015 (WF Archive)

We tend to try them Bowmores in larger groups, but we've just watched ten minutes of Charles' coronation on TV (at time of writing) and thought that a little less pump was in order. So, only two wee Bowmores will be perfect, especially given that Bowmore's distillate, when not buried under tons of fresh oak or cheap thick wines, has recently become even more pristine. Well, these too may be a little 'buried', having said that…



Bowmore 7 yo (58%, Whisky Racing, Formel Lau, bourbon & Port casks, 96 bottles, +/-2023)

Bowmore 7 yo (58%, Whisky Racing, Formel Lau, bourbon & Port casks, 96 bottles, +/-2023) Four stars
Good, some Port on the one hand (the Distillery were having an average one in the 1990s, it was called 'Dawn'), but a 7 on the other hand, while many of us will remember Sheriff's terrific old 7 years old. I believe this is Jack Wiebers stock, by the way. Colour: dark amber. Nose: not a trace of dead mice (private joke, no bothering), indeed some strawberries and prickly pear jams, and a muscular Bowmore that would then overwhelm everything, for the better of course. Prune sauce, hoisin, bold armagnac, smoked oysters, leather and tobacco, seawater, lapsang souchong… Perfect tangoing this time, between the Port and the Bowmore. With water: a little spicier, bay leaves, eucalyptus, tomato leaves, some earl grey too… Perhaps rather a paso doble this time (come on, S.). Mouth (neat): a little concoctiony for sure, with heavy extracts, cloves, cinnamon, gewurztraminer, chocolate, coffee dregs, soot… I believe water would work here. With water: bingo, the strawberries are back but rather as a high-end liqueur, with some cassis as well, blackberry syrup, otherwise peat, brine and seafood. A few oak shavings. It all remains tightly bound together. Finish: long, on crayons. Comments: it's just a little tough to properly water down these Bowmores. I'm a fan of this young racer anyway.  

SGP:665 - 87 points.

Bowmore 1997/2022 (60.9%, Berry Bros. & Rudd for Charles Hoffer, Switzerland, butt, cask #73, 243 bottles)

Bowmore 1997/2022 (60.9%, Berry Bros. & Rudd for Charles Hoffer, Switzerland, butt, cask #73, 243 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: very deep gold, apricot. Nose: starts with tiny whiffs of asparagus water and used matches, which are soon to mingle with this classic Bowmore peat, even if it also remains a little fat. I believe it is too strong, even if this strength of 60.9% will always remind me of the first Port Ellen Rare Malts that almost tore me apart the first time it entered the house. We were not used to these kinds of strengths at that time, mind you. With water: way, way, way nicer, almost refreshing now, well-carved, very maritime, with growing grapefruits and bergamots, then passion fruit. Mind you, this is almost another whisky. A little saponification that would rather last, but it's lovely soap that we find. Mouth (neat): holy Camilla, what is this? Very heavy pepper, deep soot and ashes, sriracha sauce… Well you get the picture. I am not considering swallowing one single drop of this without any water. As Daltrey used to sing, I won't get… etc. With water: perfect, on bitter oranges, heather honey, grapefruits and grass smoke. I mean, lawn grass. Finish: long and both clean and rich. Which bodes well for some long bottle aging in your cellar, if you ask me. Comments: they should sell these with a free bottle of Swiss Mineralwasser. I think 'Alpina' is not bad. Otherwise, of course, our own official water, Vittel. Don't drink this without water or call your lawyer first.

SGP:466 - 89 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Bowmore we've tasted so far







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