I must admit I’ve never been a big fan of recent Bowmore (except the Bowmore Tempest) but the recent wave of indie expressions distilled between 1993 and 1998 are making me change my mind. This one was bottled by Asta Morris.
I tried this as a cask sample and I couldn’t really get to grips with it, a bit too weird and slightly harsh. Now I’m trying it from the bottle and I’m glad to see it has gained some roundness.
Bowmore 13 yo 1998 (49,7%, Asta Morris 2011, bourbon hogshead AM003, 211 btl.)
Nose: quite a peculiar profile, it starts on moderate peat and plenty of minerals (wet gravel), wet wool, wet cardboard maybe, ferns and slightly musty wood. Don’t get me wrong, it’s actually quite enjoyable and really “old-style”. On top of this there’s a great roundness of ripe fruit, sweet smoke and honey. Hints of citrus as well. A lovely combination, and it’s something we’re seeing quite often in Bowmore from this period lately.
Mouth: smoky at first, a bit rubbery as well. A little mint. Candy sweetness again (grapefruit) but less obvious now. Then burnt herbs (slightly bitter), ginger and hints of salty liquorice.
Finish: long, with soft peat and sweet smoke.
Uncommon Bowmore with nice fruity sparkles. I started with a 90 score on the nose, but on the palate I find it lacking a bit of cohesion to maintain this score. Complex whisky though, and a nice catch for the Asta Morris label. Around € 60 but I think it’s sold out.