Single malt whisky - tasting notes

28 Nov 2012

Bowmore 1989 (Whisky Agency)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Bowmore

It can be tricky to read “distillery X” and “year Y” and just assume you know what to expect, simply because you’ve tried a number of similar expressions. This Bowmore 1989 in the TWA Fights series is quite different from the ones I’ve had before.


Bowmore 1989 (Whisky Agency Fights)Bowmore 23 yo 1989 (53,1%, The Whisky Agency ‘Fights’ 2012, ex-sherry butt, 341 btl.)

Nose: a sherried and slightly dirty version of Bowmore, nothing like the clean bourbon versions we’ve seen earlier. Buttery sherry, prunes, with farmy notes (manure, stables) and musty moss. Quite some pipe tobacco, leather and lots of cigar boxes. A bit of salt water and mint. Not much peat at all. Reminds me of the excellent Bowmore 1995 SMOS. Mouth: similar profile, plenty of sweet pipe tobacco notes. The sherry is more herbal and meaty now (hints of cough syrup) and there’s more peat to be found. Again not entirely clean but in a farmy way rather than a sulphury way if you ask me. Cinnamon and cloves. Coffee. Wet forest notes again. Finish: long, dry, with more sharpish oak now, faint echoes of sherry sweetness, salty liquorice and herbs.

This is not what we expect from Bowmore these days, it’s farmy (or dirty if you like) and a little rough but full of interesting flavours. Maybe not be totally balanced but I really like its unique tobacco character and power. Around € 135.

Score: 88/100

Bowmore 1989 (Whisky Agency) 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-11-28



October 2015
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  • WhiskyNotes: Obviously there are new articles each year (see my post about last year's edition) and the latest releases / statistics are added each year. If you've
  • Nate: I've never bought a copy. Is each year very different or is just buying the most recent sufficient?
  • WhiskyNotes: Benrinnes :-) although calling it one of Scotland's finest distilleries may be a bit too much. However casks from 2001 are being released, I've found

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1888 notes by Ruben

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