Bowmore’s whiskies are, to our taste, rather ‘strange’: that is to say we have hardly agreed with the shared enthusiasm for their bottlings. Let’s see if this 22-year-old Bowmore (in a beautiful ceramic bottle, very sought-after by collectors and for this reason quite expensive today), released around 1995 and made of whisky distilled in the 70s at the latest, will manage to make us change our mind. We thank Davide for the sample, he had this bottle opened at the Milano Whisky Festival and he shared it with us.
N: there is a bouncing game between the island side and the sweet/fruity side: the peat has let go, there is a faint smokiness, à la Bowmore, while the iodine and salty side stands out. Alongside, however, there is an intense sweetness, populated by the powerful influence of vanilla and coconut, but not only: strong notes of ripe melon (almost cloying, at times), cooked fruit (apples and plums, then strawberry jam), perhaps given by some ex-sherry barrel? There are also the usual citrus notes (orange); suggestions of wood and cinnamon.
P: you can immediately find a common thread between this and other more recent expressions: very salty on the attack, slightly smoked, citrusy and with that mentholated note so typical, but everything is very elegant and round, with a nice malty sweetness, fruit (still, cooked or very ripe). A little bit astringent towards the end: will it be the contribution of European oak barrels? A great triumph of licorice.
F: licorice, ash, apricot jam. Perhaps, a hint of menthol.
A good whisky, better than many other Bowmores we’ve tasted recently; it’s well structured, very balanced, it combines as always strong marine notes and a rather unblemished sweetness. All that said, we still can’t fall in love with the distillery; we will have to keep on tasting it… Meanwhile, a convinced 87/100 is our judgment.
Recommended soundtrack: White stripes – I just don’t know what to do with myself