Bowmore 21 Year Old ‘Master’s Selection’ is part of the partnership with Aston Martin. This single malt reflects the elegance and style of the classic British supercar, albeit on a more affordable level than the previous Black Bowmore 1964 DB5. The fact that Aston Martin and Bowmore are working together may have led to Macallan and Bentley partnering as well.
This 21 Year Old contains around two thirds of first fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, combined with a parcel of older Bowmore, some of which over 35 years of age. An interesting recipe, apparently composed around the golden ratio.
As a side note, the Belgian introduction of this whisky was a bit of a Covid disaster. A fancy presentation at a leading hotel was canceled merely a few hours before, without being picked up later. Anyway, it piqued my interest so I had to find a sample.
Bowmore 21 yo ‘Aston Martin’ (51,8%, OB ‘Master’s Selection’ 2021, 12.000 btl.)
Nose: slightly heady, with a bit of pickled ginger and floral oak up front. It quickly becomes sweeter, showing dark honey and cocoa at the base. Bowmore works really well in sherry casks. Then plenty of hazelnuts and walnuts, with cinnamon and leather. Light tobacco notes and orange peels. Cursory whiffs of roasted pineapple in the background.
Mouth: still some jammy fruits mingling with roasted coffee beans, pink grapefruit and aromatic peppercorns. The peaty side is fairly modest, but the briny coastal side comes out very clearly. Tobacco leaves, dark chocolate and a faint bitterness in the end.
Finish: quite long, still showing a spicy sharpness, a saline touch, chocolate and ashes.
A nice dram that mixes sherry with the peaty and coastal character of Bowmore. That said, it seems to have a sharp and bitter edge, lacking the thickness of some other sherried expressions. Slightly polarizing perhaps: good but not necessarily a masterpiece like most of the cars they relate to.