After a period in the eighties when Bowmore was marred by aromas of FWP (French Whore Perfume), the Islay distillery is now back to producing excellent whisky. Just try one of the young single casks from the start of this millennium. But the true glory years of Bowmore were in the sixties and seventies. Time to review a Bowmore 1975 18 Years Old from Wilson & Morgan.
If you take a poll amongst experienced whisky drinkers, those who have tasted more than their fare share of old whisky, there is a big chance that Bowmore will come out the winner. They were doing something very right back then, leading to them producing some legendary bucket list whiskies, with the Bowmore 1966 Samaroli Bouquet and the Bowmore 1964 Fino Sherry Cask at the top. What I wouldn’t give to try one of those.
For today I’ll ‘settle’ for a more common one from Wilson & Morgan, distilled in 1975. Still nothing to sneeze at, mind you.
Bowmore 1975 18 Years Old (46%, Wilson & Morgan, 1994)
Nose: Passion fruit and orange juice, although very soft. Macadamia nuts. Barely any peat to discover. Some minerality and a fair amount of wax, as well as a slight dustiness (old books). A very fragile nose. Taste: Soft notes of grapefruit, ginger and apricot marmalade, with a hint of burned caramel on the back of palate. Much peatier now too (still subtle enough though) and a fair amount of salt too, as well as a touch of polished leather and rubber. A big step up from the nose, which was a bit pedestrian. Finish: Medium in length. Lingers of soft peat and rubber. Finally back to fruitier notes.
Quite the interesting Bowmore. The nose a bit too subdued, but the palate was up there. Still not quite enough to break the 90 point barrier.