Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Bowmore Vertical: 12, 15 Darkest & 18 Reviews

Bowmore... The distillery r/Scotch loves to hate. French whores, chill filtration and colouring aplenty. It's got it all. However, lets not moan too much as there's some great ones out there!

Let's start with the 12yo.
It's a bit of an odd one because I had a good batch in 2014 that impressed me and I had it again when I visited the distillery and it was very one dimensional. The notes and score are a combination of the two.

Bowmore 12 year old 40%

Image courtesy of Master of Malt


Colour: E150a
Body: Medium
Nose: 
2015: Oily, waxy, candles, malty, cereal, brooding smoke, ash, grassy heather and hay.
2016: Marzipan and more marzipan. Some smoke.
Taste: 
2015: More smoky than the nose. Quite oily, grass, hay, peat smoke, burnt twigs, salt, black pepper, toffee and a metallic note- iron.
2016: Marzipan and honeyed sweetness. A bit flat from the abv without much development.
Finish: Medium length. 
2015: Hay and salt.
2016: Marzipan and some smoke.
Wasn't expecting this to be as good as it was, 2014 tasting. 
A much less complex experience at the distillery, 2015 tasting.

Original score: 73 New score: 66
69/100

Darkest... Finished in fine old Sherry casks. Matured in the oldest warehouse, in the oldest casks from the oldest distillery in Scotland! Well, still only 15 years old, no matter how many times you say old. Seems very silly to draw attention to the colour only to add artificial colouring anyway.
I tried this in Whisky Shop in Guildford (over priced but really nice people).

Image courtesy of Master of Malt
Bowmore 15 Darkest 43%
Colour: Dark Amber (E150a)
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Sweet, richly sherried and smoky. Light Bowmore peat smoke, raisin, thick toffee, fudge, grape, orange.
Water: Coffee and chocolate develop.
Taste: Peat smoke and sweet sherry, raisin, orange. Slightly sour notes develop- Sour orange? Going slightly rubbery into the finish.
Water: Softer with chocolate and coffee.
Finish: Medium length. Sour and rubbery sherry.
Matured in Bourbon barrels for 12 years. Finished in sherry casks for 3ish Years.
69/100

Bowmore 18 43%
Image courtesy of Master of Malt
Colour: E150
Body: Medium
Nose: Very fruity, sweet, sherry, spice, sour stone fruit, raisin, plum, slight malty smoke.
Taste: Silky and smooth but not very full. Sweet sherry, raisin, plum, going sour with more plum and some spice. Malty peat smoke.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Disappointing on dark chocolate.
I tried this at Bristol Whisky Lounge last year and found it to be disappointing. This would cost you about £95 and I'd rather have a tonne of other whiskies at this price range.
73/100

Reviews #92-#94

Network Average: 76.1
Best Score: 91
Worst Score: 44
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

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