I’ve never actually owned a bottle of Bowmore. I’ve tried several expressions, both original bottlings and independants, but I’ve never bought a bottle. Looking back I’m not sure why as I’ve never tried a bad Bowmore (if there is such a thing) The small batch release was a bit ‘meh’ but wasn’t entirely unlikeable, just perhaps a little unremarkable. I previously reviewed the Bowmore 18, which can be found here.
When the chance arose to try this relatively recent release as part of a sample swap with The Malt Mentalist I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try another Bowmore at what I thought could be an interesting age.
Bowmore 9 y.o, (OB) 40%abv, sourced through a swap, (available here)
The nose is definately coastal with hints of mild rubber and light wafts of Germolene. There is also a slight cheese note, vaugly cheddar-ish. Perhaps an Applewood Smoked. Raisins and chocolate are also here but mixed within the brine driven nose. Sea water soaked raisins.
The palate is what I feel is typical Bowmore. There is a minerality here, almost chalky, crushed sea shells. Dark fruits and vanilla esscence mix well with a grassy feeling before leading to the finish which is quite soft and subtle. The minerality lingers and slowly fades to leave the brine notes overlaying a drying tannic wave.
There is not a huge amount of sherry influence here but what there is not only tempers the peated nature and the youthful spirit but lets it come through a little for a slightly more complex palate. I’d like to have tried it at a slightly higher abv out of curiousity but it doesn’t suffer unnecesarily from being bottled at the 40% mark.
It’s a marriage of sherry and bourbon casks. A cynic may think that it’s just to perhaps cover over deficiencies in one of the casks but what they have achieved here is reasonably priced and a decent dram, if lacking a little in depth and power.
Rumour has it that this is available in ASDA for £15. There is no competition at this price point, I’d buy it if you see it.
New Years Resolution? Buy some Bowmore…