The Bowmore offering for Feis Ile 2009 had a limited availability of just 900 bottles (minus 12 that are kept in the Bowmore vaults for archive). It was distilled on the 14th of June 1999 and had a complex maturation in three types of wood: ex-sherry cask, ex-bourbon cask and a red wine finish.
Bowmore 9yo 1999
(57,1%, OB 2009, Feis Isle 2009, 900 btl.)
Nose: big influence of the grapes. Harbour stuff as well: seaweed, boat rope. Some smoke. Hints of prunes, espresso and orange skin. Rhubarb. Soft balsamic vinegar. Somewhat reminiscent of the Bowmore Dusk (Bordeaux finish – which I didn’t like) but this is much better. Stronger and more complex. After adding some water: more orange notes. Too bad the typical lavender / perfume smell also grows stronger when diluted.
Mouth: really powerful, the alcohol is a tad too strong. With water: tobacco and leather, blueberries… I would have sworn this was older than 9 years. Some cinnamon. The oak and cedar wood appears towards the end.
Finish: spices, oak, berries.
I have to admit I was a bit reluctant to taste a Bowmore with a wine finish, but the result is in fact really nice and different. The wine is not at all overpowering and the sherry notes help to lift this dram.