|Bowmore Vertical Tasting
by F. Sot Fitzgerald
Anyone who drinks much scotch has likely heard of Bowmore. Bowmore, AKA Morrison Bowmore Distillery, has made a huge name for itself in the world of fine spirits. Bowmore single malts regularly bag medals
|at spirits tastings. Their
product line is broad- all are single malts, but they turn out everything
from a value/premium single malt (Bowmore Legend) to Bordeaux wine casked
malt to a 40 year old which fetches $7000 for it and the hand blown crystal
decanter it comes in.
Needless to say, it was with great pleasure that I accepted this assignment from my editor- to taste Bowmore's legend, 12, 15, 17, 21, and 30 year old malts. Oh, the drudgery that is life...
So we begin. I tasted these malts thus- 1.5 ounces of scotch in a glass with 1/4 ounce of water. All were 43% alcohol. On the whole, it can be said that Bowmore's reputation as a maker of superb scotch is more than a reputation- it is a fact. The malts I tasted were all good to excellent.
Bowmore Legend: In terms of taste, the leanest of the bunch. Noses of peat and brine, is a hint warm on the tongue, with a mix of peat and iodine. A solid intermingling of 7, 8 and 9 year old malts. (Rating ***) Click here to purchase Bowmore Legend
Bowmore 12 Year: A bolder nose than Bowmore Legend, deeper, and the iodine is supplemented with a hint of honey. In the mouth its quite smooth, with less smoke and iodine, and a bit of fruit. (Rating***1/4) Click here to purchase Bowmore 12 Year
Bowmore 15 Year: Also known as Bowmore Mariner. It's an incrementally better malt than the 12 year. Similar to the 12 year but softer, and a sherry note steps on stage. A nice medley of flavors. (Rating ***1/2) Click here to purchase Bowmore 15 Year
Bowmore 17 Year: A clear step about the 15 year. As with the others, iodine and soft smoke are present, but they are joined with a firm chocolate and oatmeal flavors. Bold and splendid. (Rating ****)
Bowmore 21 Year:
Quite similar to the 17 year old, but a hint more restrained and complex.
An incredible mix of grass, hay, flowers, smoke, iodine, and sherry.
Bowmore 21 Year is a sublime and profound symphony of flavors. It's
is very impressive and would be a fine addition to any serious whiskey
Bowmore 30 Year: Altogether different from any others. Did this come from the same distillery? Awarded 99 out of 100 points by Wine Enthusiast and 5 out of 5 stars from F. Paul Pacult, spirits guru, Bowmore 30 year old is big, oaky, and tastes of baked sour apples, earth, vanilla, and iodine. It finishes extraordinarily smooth, with no hint of alcohol. Wow. (Rating ****1/2)