Friday, 29 June 2018

Bowmore SMWS 3.2 & 3.228 (1976 & 1987) Reviews

Hi everyone,

Today I have two very, very exciting whiskies. I’m a big fan of old Bowmore. Proper good Bowmore is a sight and smell and taste experience to behold. I’d had my eye on a very special one in Limburg, part of a singular collection that Angus MacRaild (of Whiskyfun) brought along. He was an incredibly generous guy for pouring this first one for me.
The second is another generous pour, this time coming from Reddit user xile_ You sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. Many thanks.
 
Bowmore 1976 SMWS 3.2 58%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Musky, heathery, awesomely earthy, leather and plenty of tobacco, more Springbank-esque actually.
Taste: Soft, heather, earthy, chocolate, oily and powerful smoke, old school, graphite.
Finish: Long length. Powerful, earthy, tobacco,
Nov 76-Feb 84. Historic whisky. The second cask from the third distillery that the SMWS ever bottled! I didn’t get too long with this as you can see from comparing to the notes below but it was well worth appreciating for the short time I had it.
88/100

226 casks of Bowmore later…

Bowmore 1987 3.228 46.0%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Heady and sweet. There's definitely a floral perfumed aspect to it but not overwhelming. The Sherry comes through as fresh orange, malting floor smell, peat is still quite intense too which is a big plus, hot coals, parma violets, fig cake and sticky toffee pudding too, nutmeg and brazil nuts with cinnamon back there too. A complex one you could smell for hours and still find new things. Singed heather, orange marmalade and leather after a bit, giving off more of a Highland Park vibe. Oh and a little meatiness too.
Taste: Sweet hit to start, lovely orange marmalade, orange chewing gum, oily texture, then more smoke with some parma violet and then, yep, more and more of it (Ah, so THATS the famous FWP). Here it actually fits quite well as the freshness is balancing the Sherry. Eventually the malty smoke pulls up and into the finish but never quite beats the parma violets.
Finish: Long length. More parma violets, more smoke, more malt, more orange then some dark chocolate, fig and nice black coffee.
Great whisky despite the lower strength and the FWP. The cask has done a fantastic job here and I don't find it over the hill, too floral or too weak.
89/100

Distillery: Bowmore
Average Score: 79.3
Distillery Ranking: 14th/ 65 places
Up/Down: 17>14 (Up 3)

Thanks for reading!
Scotch Reviews #646-#647
Whisky Network reviews #769-#770

Network Average: 74.9
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
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

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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