Single malt whisky - tasting notes

29 May 2013

Bowmore 1996 (Whisky Agency)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Bowmore

When presented a series of samples, sometimes you’re not inclined to try the medium-aged Bowmores right away. Because you already know it’s going to be high quality and very similar to the previous one you’ve tried. Some of them are more perfect than the others though. Like this Bowmore 1996 in the Faces series.


Bowmore 1996 - The Whisky Agency FacesBowmore 17 yo 1996 (52,7%, The Whisky Agency ‘Faces’ 2013, refill bourbon hogshead, 307 btl.)

Nose: interesting nose. It’s definitely modern, clean Bowmore, with maritime notes, medium peat smoke, soot and a very pleasant vanilla roundness. What’s different, is that this one also has butter pastry, marzipan and a great (light) farmy edge (sheep stables). Wonderfully balanced as well. Mouth: quite sweet but also zesty and briney. Citrus candy, lots of grapefruit zest, almonds and pepper. Honeyed and smoky. Faint earthy notes, with a sharper spiciness. A bit of anise. The fruits come back towards the end in a more tropical disguise (plums, kumquat, even a little mango). Finish: still balancing between (bigger) bitterness and (softer) sweetness.

I really liked this one, sometimes these well-made Bowmores all seem a bit too similar, but this one had a few twists while still retaining its perfect balance. No need to say it comes highly recommended. Around € 100 and the insider’s pick of this batch by The Whisky Agency.

Score: 91/100

Bowmore 1996 (Whisky Agency) 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2013-05-29
  • ThS

    It must be great indeed but, after days passing to look for it, i give up. Probably sold out. Lucky if you got one!

  • WhiskyNotes

    With 307 bottles, I don’t believe they’re all gone. Maybe some of the allocations are still on their way to stores, keep an eye out.

  • Kris Cuypers

    deliveries are still on their way to the retailers here in Belgium, so they’re definitely not sold out yet

  • FREC

    try DEN HOORN, could be that you got your bottle there.

  • ThS

    Thanks but i’m french, living in Paris, so it is far away to buy a bottle of whisky, event if it’s a very good one 😉

  • AquaVitae

    The nose is so well balanced it even reminds me of a 30 year old Caol Ila… Discrete, elegant sweetness, vanilla and honey, but there is much more to enjoy in this whisky… indeed: that twist, grape? Maybe, it could be overripe mango as well. Very delicate however. A few twists are giving this whisky a beautiful complexity… Exciting whisky! Tasting notes posted by Ruben are pretty accurate in my opinion. Only I think it’s rather 91 (or maybe even 92) material.



December 2015
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Coming up

  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1935 notes by Ruben

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