Single malt whisky - tasting notes

19 Feb 2011

Bowmore 1993 (Whisky Agency)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Bowmore

1993 is a special year for Bowmore. After being taken over by Suntory, the Japanese decided to clean the distillery thoroughly and have a few things sorted. The distillery was running at a much slower pace, with doubled fermentation times and slower distillation. Few casks were filled that year and at this moment not a single cask remains on Islay. We’ve seen a couple of indy 1993 releases recently but it may be an extinct vintage really soon.

We’ll be comparing three of these Bowmores, actually four of them as I also dug up a previously reviewed Bowmore 1993 Perfect Dram IV for comparison.



Bowmore 1993 Perfect DramBowmore 17 yo 1993 (54,6%, Whisky Agency 2010, Perfect Dram VII, 226 btl.)

Nose: dry and mineral with moderate peat. Only after 15 minutes, it gets sweeter, rounder and even slightly tropically fruity (which is a common thing for all four and part of the 1993 magic). The 59,9% version shows more vanilla (really nice) and warmer notes. It seems more fruity as well. This 54,6% version is slightly more subdued with a papery element. A tad more briney and austere as well I would say. Still quite similar. Both have a faint floral touch as well. Mouth: punchy with a nice balance between bold peat and fruit, this time slightly sharper / citric fruits (lemon zest, white grapefruit). Bittersweet, slightly leafy, and growing herbal and salty in the aftertaste, just like the other one. A little tarry. Finish: peaty with a pinch of salt. A bit more gentle than its predecessor and returning to its fruity side.

Although the differences are subtle, I prefer the 16yo at 59,9% for being more complex, warmer and fruitier at the same time. Both versions seem to have slightly less fruit and more herbal notes than the ones that are coming up. Around € 100 (sold out).

Score: 87/100

I’ve noticed The Whisky Agency also has a Bowmore 1993 in their
Private Stock
series, which is usually reserved for exceptional drams. Could that be the ultimate 1993? Although I’ve never seen it in stores, it makes me curious… Has anyone tried it?

Bowmore 1993 (Whisky Agency) 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2011-02-19
  • bellisan

    the whisky agency heeft inmiddels 4 vershillende bowmor’s 93

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    I know, there’s also a Bowmore 1993 53,8% in the Perfect Dram V series. I can’t compare with that one, but I suppose it’s rougly the same profile of medium peat + fruits.

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  • SK: And just to prove a point, all of the bottles are still available in places where they usually run out. Lets see how many will be still available whe
  • SK: 2 years ago I tried the Caol Ila 1982 from Archives. What a fantastic whisky. Since then I always try to stock these Caol Ila from the 80s. Sadly no
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1681 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.