Bowmore – 11yo 2000 Liquid Sun
(Distilled 2000, bottled 2011, bourbon barrel, 145 bottles, 46%)
I have to admit that Bowmore is the chink in my Islay-whisky-knowledge armour. I’ve never quite found an official bottling that’s grabbed my attention (purely a personal failing, I’m sure, as many people swear by them) but I’ve recently tried a few indies and maybe things are starting to fall into place…
Nose: Salty preserved lemons and a touch of emulsion paint (in a good way!). A coal fire the morning after. A mineral / limestone quality. Lots of herbs: parsley, sweet woodruff, sage, liquorice. Touches of vanilla and milk. Very clean and crisp.
Taste: Herbs, lemons, coal dust. Smoked nuts. Salty liquorice. Despite what that sounds like it’s really juicy.
Finish: Brine, lemons and chargrilled grapefruit. Buttery. Long salty finish with hints of tangerine peel. Great!
Superb stuff – there are plenty of these young-ish fresh and maritime Bowmores around, and they all seem to be pretty great. Excellent spirit, I suppose, which is best not monkeyed about with too much. If you’re not sure about Bowmore – but do, perhaps, like Caol Ila or Laphroaig – give a bottle like this a try: for me this is the context in which Bowmore’s particular dry ashy smokiness really shines.