Blind Tasting #17: Bowmore 1998 17 Years Old SMWS 3.271
I don’t know if you could deduce it from my previous posts about the Blind Tasting Competition, but I had actually been in first place for nine days straight. I just didn’t want to jinx it, so I hadn’t mentioned it yet. Now that I’m no longer leading the competition, I guess it’s fine to mention it.
Strangely enough, I dropped from first place to fourth on a day that I actually knew I was drinking Bowmore. It’s such a recognizable whisky, that it didn’t took me long to identify it as Bowmore. To then conclude how old it was, turned out to be more difficult. I thought it was much younger than 17 years. And that’s where I lost the lead. Since the top four was separated by just thirteen points, I fell off the podium. Only one more day to go, so who knows. Fingers crossed!
But first, here are my tasting notes for that Bowmore, a bottling by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society from a refill bourbon barrel.
Bowmore 1998 17 Years Old (57,9%, Scotch Malt Whisky Society, C#3.271)
Nose: Light, fresh and crisp. Lovely sweet fruity notes of peach and apricots, accompanied by sweet cake icing, cookie dough, wet rocks and a crisp smokiness.
Taste: Fruity stuff, with lemon zest, oranges and mango, accompanied by a pinch of salt and a whisper of smoke. A subtle spiciness also, mainly white pepper.
Finish: Peat smoke and tropical fruits. Medium in length.
Exactly what I look for in a Bowmore, which is subtle Islay peat and a vibrant fruitiness. Lovely!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.