Archive for the ‘Bowmore’ Category

Mackillop’s Choice Bowmore 1990 (23 year old) 52.2%

Bourbon Cask 185082/ Dist: Apr 1990 Btl: July 2013/ Tasted: Aug 2013

A beautiful, multi-layered nose of toffee coated apples and cinders with hints of bbq sauce and dark pickles. Hmm, this is a serious food fest of a malt! Hints of old, medicinal seaweed, treacly-peat and light brine. Quite earthy and malty with a developing dark honey/ camp coffee/ chicory note. With time it becomes a little floral and a hint of violet appears. A seriously complex nose which takes some time to unwind!

Soft and toffee’d to start with a developing, light medicinal seaweed and fishy brine note. Stunning depth with hints of roasted meat, malt, treacle, tar, liquorice, camphor and herbal-peat. The peat thickens and becomes quite tarry on the middle along with buckets of lightly bitter, but sweet coffee and tarred rope notes. Very long, fading into a light dark chocolate finish, but the treacle-tar is coating the mouth. Quite ashy on the finish with a light burnt coastal wood and a touch of violets in the after-taste. A truly stunning old Bowmore

Mackillop’s Choice Bowmore 1992 (25 year old) 50.7%

Bourbon Cask 4193/ Dist: Sept 1992 Btl: Sept 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

Aromas of barley, incense sticks, cinnamon and all spice. Heavily oiled with plenty of oxidised fruit. Lightly smoked with developing notes of pulped white fruit and fragrant peat smoke. Mellow, deep and dusty with late vanilla and peat dust.

The palate displays more peat and earth with a distinct aged Tequila-esque pulped white fruit character. A little edgy with grippy wood spices and subtle barley. Intensley salt, smoky and peppery on the middle with the tannins emerging on the finish to make it a little drying, but the fruit balances pleasantly. Wow! That pepper lingers along with a faint violet after-taste.


Wemyss Malt Briny Tangle 1990 (25 year old) 46%

Dist: 1990 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2016

Nose: Very mature with hints of treacle, tar and Bowmore-esque parma violets [tasted blind]. A little balsamic coated oxidised fruit and silky malt notes. A gentle waft of cigar ash, wood spice and dry, earthy peat follows.

Palate: Beautifully mature, malty and dusty with treacle, tar, wood spice and a distant echo of peat. Superb salty intensity which builds to a fabulous coastal crescendo on the middle.

Finish: Very long and spicy with oxidised fruit, gentle bittering oak, wood smoke and sweet violet tinged peat.

Conclusion: Absolutely heavenly. I’d buy it for the finish alone, which incidentally lasts for minutes.

Edition Spirits Bowmore 2000 (15 year old) 58.7%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: EDI0117/ Dist: 2000 Btl: Sept 2015/ Tasted: Oct 2015

Full and lightly maritime aromas with sooty-peat, parma violets, iodine and antiseptic notes. Subtle baked fruit with underlying barley and malt appear. Quite medicinal with time. Lovely intensity.

The palate is lightly oiled with barley and sooty-peat. A little more oak is showing but the crisp citrus comes through and balances the light treacle and malt. Not as medicinal as the nose but a touch of camphor appears on the middle. Long with subtle iodine and antiseptic notes.

Water makes the nose rather muted as it really brings out the oils. The palate is surprisingly watery. Again oilier with a touch of toasty oak. The finish is good though, all iodine and spice.

Dancing Stag Bowmore 1990 (22 year old) 46%

Bottled by Robert Graham

Bourbon Hogshead 17520/ Dist: 1990 Btl: Jan 2012/ Tasted: Dec 2013

Briny and soft aromas with hints of apricot, gooseberry, bog myrtle, parma violets and light herbal-peat. A little on the light side but there’s a little sugared barley and orange. The oak although not adding a great deal of vanillins does give the nose a rounded robustness.

The palate is soft and relatively simple. Hints of apricot, herbal-peat mingle with some milky oak. Slightly tart citrus comes through on the middle and the creamy oak returns on the finish along with some briny notes.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bowmore 2001 (12 year old) 50%

Code: OMC2427/ Dist: Dec 2001 Btl: Oct 2014/ Tasted: Nov 2014

A slightly soapy nose opens with a touch of peat smoke and boiled sweets. Lightly herbal with developing astringent peat. With time the oils begin to encroach upon the aromatics.

The palate is a little gritty with toffee and light peat. Quite herbal with some sweet barley, salt and iodine. Good briny finish with a mouth-watering finale and dusty peat after-taste. If only the nose was as good as the palate.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bowmore 2001 (13 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2448/ Dist: Dec 2001 Btl: Apr 2015/ Tasted: May 2015

A nose of creamy toffee and astringent brine. Lightly herbal, almost rye-like and lightly sooty with hints of seaweed. The intense briny notes give it a pleasant freshness.

The palate opens with sooty peat and coal dust. Fresh but quite full with burnt toffee and herbal fruit. Lightly coastal with a developing pulped fruit character and a light nuttiness. A little hot on the finish but mouth-watering with a smoky after-taste.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bowmore 1999 (14 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2327/ Dist: Sept 1999 Btl: Nov 2013/ Tasted: Dec 2013

Quite oily and herbal on the nose with menthol, bog myrtle and iodine. Fresh lemon notes mingle with creosote, medicinal-peat and parma violet notes. A classic Bowmore nose!

The palate is relatively oily with tar laden coffee-malt. Thick and chewier than the nose would suggest. Heavily laden with tar, parma violets and more earthy-peat. Lovely intensity and softness with a very herbal, bog myrtle and lightly medicinal finish. Finally exiting with some beautifully dusty cocoa tannins.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bowmore 2002 (14 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2604/ HL12765

Dist: Sept 2002 Btl: Oct 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

An interesting nose. Very petroly, like it’s been finished in an ex-Riesling cask! Hints of oily barley, unsweetened toffee, coffee, manure and subtly smoky peat briquettes. Chunky and bold with unassuming, supportive oak.

The palate is quite winey with the petrol overlaying the thick, oily peat. Hints of barley and oak come through on the middle but the petrol note is quite dominating. Lovely intense, slightly citric and salty finish with hints of parma violets, dusty, sooty, dry peat and tar.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bowmore 1996 (20 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2628/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Quite a phenolic nose with dusty peat, oat biscuits, tar, fish and mature oak. Lightly coastal with hints of seaweed, fresh brine and subtly sweet barley.

The palate is lightly oiled and malty with oat biscuits and subtler peat. A good, fishy, herbal and briny middle with a touch of tar and light smoke. The saltiness continues to build but some sweet barley balances. Long and salty with lingering malt and tar. Finally there is a fleeting parma violet moment before the gritty but soft tannins and barley rounds things off.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bowmore 1996 (20 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2629/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is oiler and less peated than OMC2628 with milky and sawduty oak. The peat is also quite dusty and a touch of burnt wood emerges. Robust and malty with subtle barley and fishy notes, although the fishy notes increase in intensity with time.

The palate is considerably more malty and dark with baked, mature fruit and balancing salt and citrus notes. Subtly creamy oak and barley comes through and the finish is long, with the oak and barley becomes fairly fragrant and lightening the dark, maltiness of the palate.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Bowmore 1996 (21 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon?/ Code: OMC2712/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

A briny and tartly citric (lime) nose with hints of oysters, heather, violets, tar, manure, old rope and subtle medicinal peat. Distinctly old skool, beautifully mature, intense.

The palate opens with a touch of subtle oak and malt, followed by dusty, violety peat, white fruit, ash, tar and wood spice. The oak comes back on the middle adding a vanilla sheen and the finish is full of the dusty, mature peat, violets and salt. A lovely, old, windswept Bowmore!

Carn Mor Bowmore 2001 (11 year old) 46%

549 Bottles from 2 casks, finished in ex-Pedro Ximinez/ Dist: 2001 Btl: 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

A very astringent, cardboardy, peat and salty nose. It has all the grace and poise of Ledaig! There are hints of lemon, fish, burnt wood and ashy peat, but also a sulphur blemish as well. The PX finish tries to cover it with a light crystalised treacle note but fails, maybe they should have left in the finishing cask for a lot longer to try and cover what can only be described as rather poor spirit.

The palate is watery and vague. Flat and cardboary with hints of lemon, violets, peat and coal dust. Very astringent, alcoholic (which is a surprise given its abv) and bitter. Good grief the oak has it by the whatsits! It’s so bitter and drying. Then to add insult it finishes with a cloying PX sweetness. To say its unbalanced is an understatement. Dreadful!


Carn Mor Celebration of the Cask Bowmore 1991 (24 year old) 54.9%

Bourbon Hogshead 616/ Dist: Mar 1991 Btl: Jan 2016/ Tasted: Feb 2016

Now, that’s a lovely nose! Resplendent with lovely mature fruit, dusty oak, violets, dusty spice and some gorgeously subtle peat smoke. That’s a great, old Bowmore nose!

The palate is lightly honeyed and barley’d. Just like the nose it opens with the sweet-ish fruit, violets and dusty spice before the gentle coastal notes emerge on the middle. Beautifully mature and very long with the gentle peat joining the party on the finish.

Carn Mor Bequest ‘The Chairmans Legacy’ Bowmore 1991 (26 year old) 42.9%

Bottled for the retirement of Brain Morrison

Dist: May 1991 Btl: Nov 2017/ Tasted: Dec 2017

Fresh and coastal with that classic mature, dusty peat character with hints of oily barley, violets, baked fruit, fresh vanilla and hints of sweet barley. Elegant and poised!

The palate is wonderfully vibrant and fresh with apricot, white fruit and dusty, mature peat. It fills out well on the middle as the oils arrive and the peat becomes more pronounced and violety. Lightly fishy and salty middle with a touch of vanilla. Long and full with lingering barley, violets, peat briquettes, tar, soot and oily fruit.


Carn Mor Black Gold Bowmore 1991 (25 year old) 55.5%

Sherry Butt 1916/ Dist: July 1991 Btl: Sept 2016/ Tasted: Oct 2016

Wonderfully fresh, citric and salty. Apparently this cask has been maturing at Bruichladdich, which would account for the lovely coastal character which keeps the smoky, treacly sherry in check. Hints of prune, dates, raisins, orange peel, walnuts and pecans follow. The sherry is slightly gritty at the edges (definitely old skool!) with late tar, violets, peat soot and manure.

The palate is slightly treacly and tarry but again the tannins give it a slight grittiness. Like the nose it’s wonderfully fresh, salty and citric with dusty peat and violets. Stunning length with lingering sweetly smoked dried fruit, coffee, salt, drier peat smoke and those gritty tannins. A lovely old Bowmore. Classy stuff!


Douglas McGibbon Provenance Bowmore 2002 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0965/ Dist: Sept 2002 Btl: Feb 2013/ Tasted: Feb 2013

A young and cerealy nose which is fairly phenolic and briny. Some seriously astringent coastal peat mingles with some soft, loamy peat and a light ash note. 

Quite soft on the palate and very tarry to begin with. Actually quite complex with malt, tar (obviously!) and light treacle. The peat becomes quite sooty as the barley sweetness builds. Lightly medicinal with a long malt, tar, charred wood and camphor finish. Very mouth-filling with a lightly sweet, oily after taste. An excellent bottling!

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Bowmore 2002 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV0994/ Dist: Dec 2002 Btl: May 2013/ Tasted: June 2013

The nose is a tad caramel flattened with hints of bog myrtle, herbs, extremely subtle peat and rubber. The oak is very prominent adding a clotted cream like character, first fill American oak? 

The palate is soft and like the nose very oaked with hints of toasted caramel and a touch of barley. A little light smoke escapes the oaks clutches on the middle and finally a touch of herbal-peat and tar comes through on the finish, but the oak is far too dominating.

Boisdale Collection Bowmore 2000 (11 year old) 46%

Refil Hogshead 800113/ Dist: 2000 Btl: 2011/ Tasted: Aug 2012

Quite an oily nose of Guyana-like dried fruit, liquorice allsorts and sweet-ish white fruit. Very unusual for a Bowmore! It’s slightly chlorinated and lightly peated and with time some liquid orange and toffee’d oak appears. 

The palate is soft and is rather watery and insubstantial. Quite sweet and dominated by the toffee’d oak. There is a touch of charcoal and light peat on the middle and to be fair the finish is more coastal. In fact all the character comes through on the finish – lightly astringent peat, tar, fish and crystallised orange/ violet. I guess it takes quite awhile to fight through all that oak!

Wilson & Morgan Bowmore 1991 (16 year old) Port Finish 46%

Refill Sherry (?) – Port/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2007/ Tasted: Sept 2008

A pleasant, gentle nose. It opens with some sherry (amontillado?) character, mellow peat, mint, menthol, bog myrtle and iodine. There’s a late hint of butter .A delicious creamy entry with delicate sherry notes. Quite rich in character with an abundance of wood tannins. Mellow like the nose with a touch of peat, menthol and vegetation. Good length with a smoky/ coastal finish In conclusion it seems a lot older than 16 years. Good quality cask. Apparently Port finished – would never had guessed (as tasted blind!).

Wilson & Morgan Bowmore18 year old Port Finish 56.8%

First fill Oloroso Cask(?) – Port/ Tasted: July 2009

A huge sherry monster! Raw and leafy with a slight suggestion of sulphur. Maybe there’s some soft fruit, but who can tell! Water maybe emphasises some orange fruit which becomes quiet perfumed over time. The palate is all booming sherry. Not as raw as the nose would suggest. There’s still a slight suggestion of sulphur however. Water increases the sweetness. Moderate length. Lots of alcohol and a green/ sulphury finish.

Bowmore??? Port finish???? Am I Dutchman???? (tasted blind)

Single Malts Bowmore 2002 (8 year old) 46.2%

Bourbon/ Tasted July 2010

The nose is oily, lanolin and wool fat. Flat, dull new make spirit. Too young and a touch soapy. The palate is oily, flat and cardboardy! Ok length with a touch of rose petal marc and pepper. Why bother. A total lack of cask interaction, mind I don’t think it was going anywhere though.