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Bowmore 21 yo 1989/2011 (Silver Seal, 46%)

We are one month away from the second edition of Spirit of Scotland and we realized that we still have in our samples cabinet several precious treasures from Silver Seal, an Italian bottler who has never disappointed us and whose banquet will be as always one of the most interesting for fans. In the meantime let’s take a look at Islay, with this light gold Bowmore.

bowmore-silver-seal-21yo-1989-2011-70cl-46-specia_IM134732

N: very clean and “soft”; intense marine notes stand out, with a salty breeze that invades the glass; then the distillate opens with vanilla, accompanied by traces of licorice and almond paste. There are also melted butter, panna cotta and caramel (creme caramel?). We are struck by the presence of grassy suggestions, such as aromatic and almost balsamic herbs (gentian, eucalyptus … reminiscent of some invigorating winter herbal teas, for the throat). Shy, a note of violet candy, which gives a floral touch. The smokiness is quite light, smooth. Citrus fruits, or rather: lemon.

P: perfectly consistent with the nose, in a fairly ‘naked’ profile: it attacks smoked and marine (it tastes like salty water), it evolves towards a fairly bitter woody licorice, with a strong malt flavor; then, a vanilla-like aftertaste explodes, with little fruit, finally closing on smoke. The creaminess that we had smelled has almost disappeared. Pardon, we were forgetting the main actors of this palate: the lemon, very present; it seems as if we were drinking a sweetened and smoked lemonade (???), with a sprinkle of pepper; the co-star is a distinctive Bowmore trait, that seemed to us to be little present in reality: that soapy-floral note that always leaves us a bit disappointed…

F: lemon, smoke, salt water. Long and persistent, despite being not very intense.

A “typical” Bowmore: the sensation is that the barrel (except for some bitter wood on the palate) was not too active, allowing the distillate to maintain some stereotypical characteristics. In its own way it is an austere whisky, infinitely insular, but never ‘repelling’, quite the opposite… The abv perhaps penalizes the body a bit but, on the other hand, it makes this Bowmore really drinkable. We give it a nice 86/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Sweetbox – Everything’s gonna be alright.

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