Bowmore 2001/2012 Maltbarn
There have been a lot of youngish Bowmore released recently, and most of them were really well received as well. That made me realize that I don’t really have a lot of experience with these whiskies, most of ’em being distilled in 2001 or 2002. But I have tasted a couple of the official Tempest releases (batch 3 and 4, not reviewed on this blog), and they made a very good impression on me.
Today I review a young Bowmore from 2001 from German bottler Maltbarn. It was released a couple of years ago in 2012 and unlike most Bowmore’s from the beginning of this millennium, it’s matured in a refill sherry butt instead of a fresh ex-bourbon barrel.
Bowmore 2001/2012 (53,6%, Maltbarn, 175 bts.)
Nose: A beautiful mix of sherry and peat. Both very, very subtle. It smells salty and smoky with bacon, cherries and other red fruit. Also some crème brûlée and vanilla. This is perfectly balanced and appears to be much older than 11 years.
Taste: This is where this Bowmore shows its true age. The flavours are more harsh and less subtle. Some medicinal peat and iodine. More maritime than the nose, with a bit of ash added to the mix. Also some sherry notes with raisins and prunes.
Finish: Very long with less sherry and more ash and salt.
This is a very good Bowmore with an excellent nose. Perfectly balanced. The palate and the finish are a bit rougher and have more of an edge to them.
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.