Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Replacing the old 25yo in 2003, this Bowmore 25 year old has charmed the pants off critics the world over, including the ever-quotable F. Paul Pacult. Bowmore always manages to get a buzz going.
Their heat-exchange system mentioned in Malt Mission 131 was awarded the Green Apple Award for its environmental commitment in 2004. In 1993 the legendary Black Bowmore (1964) was launched. This is an extremely rare expression that originally went for £100 and now fetches up to £500 per dram at posh hotel bars. The 2nd and 3rd editions followed in 1994 and 1995 and today, when found, go for well over £2000. Bowmore always seems to fare quite well at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco where the new 18yo (tasted Monday) won Best in Show 2007, the same accolade that this 25yo won back in 2004. This year it won double gold in its category.
Bowmore created a series of videos for their website and for the YouTube (etc.) world that can be viewed HERE. Not all that boring either.
* - I have seen this listed for as high as $300(USD). Ah, freedom. Folks in Ontario (with cash to spare), note the great price at the LCBO. The packaging has officially been changed, so get this while you can... if you can... pretty box and all.
All Bowmores tasted on the mission can be read HERE
Very concentrated package. Generally sweet with sherry and tropical fruits. Shellfish. Rancio (in all senses of the word; mature, oxidized and almost rancid). Caribbean stew. Peat? None that I can detect.
Simultaneously (dry) sherry sweet and mango-skin bitter. Lavender. Some smoke appears now, along with some tobacco and spice. Wild mushrooms. Satisfying wave of flavours that tapers quite quickly into a oak dryness with gently lingering impressions of sea air, sherry and ink.
This is all cask and oxidation. Sweet creamy peated malt is lost and is much needed to balance the flavours. A very Bowmore nose, but at this age really walks a fine line between pleasant and nauseating. Time in oak has reduced some of the aromas to butyric smells. And while the taste is pleasant and complex, catching a whiff as you bring the glass near you face does not encourage another sip... at least not for me. Serge Valentin seemed to like it. As have others (Michael Jackson, P. Paul Pacult, friends).
Malt Mission #131
Malt Mission #132
Malt Mission #134
Malt Mission #135
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