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Bowmore 12 yo (2017, OB, 40%)

Long time ago, the Bowmore 12 yo was an iconic bottle. Nowadays is no more an icon but it’s still a capital landmark. It’s the entry level in the age statement range of the first Islay distillery (licensed in 1779). Today we taste it. Unfortunately we can’t say it’s non chill-filtered and natural colour.

N: stereotypical Bowmore, in the best sense: seaside and salt on one hand, tropical fruit on the other (passion fruit and lime… really fragrant!). We could stop here, but you know we’re wordy guys: golden apples, salted caramel. There are “sweaty” notes and a rather smoky peat, delicate as the distillery stile requires, but not marginal at all. A slight balsamic and minty note (sage? In any case it reminds us those fruit balsamic candies…) completes a pleasant profile.

P: the body is very thin. It seems a juice: incredibly drinkable, but also too easy. It lacks an evolution, reproducing the nose dichotomy between the tropical side (maracuja again) and the marine side, with an ever-present layer of caramel. There is a hint of carbonated drink: chinotto or Cedrata Tassoni. It’s always on the edge, but it stops just a step from the precipice: and the risk of appearing “fake”, constructed and too woody is averted. 

F: not very long, pleasant, with a pronounced peat smoke and lightly salted caramel.

We usually avoid talking about prices (it’s so unpolite…), but in this case we have to warn that this whisky is available from 35 euro. It’s definetely a top player in its league. Probably it’s not an absolute masterpiece, but it deserves an extra point because it’s so easy drinking. And because it shows all the qualities of Bowmore’s malt: gentle peat, sea breeze and the lovely tropical fruit: 85/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Son Little – O Me O My.

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