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So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Bowmore 38 yo 1957 #216-220 vs Bowmore ‘Sherriff’s’ 7 yo Cogis import

Two not just old Bowmore, but proper old old, distilled in the later bit of the 50s. While the 60s is still more or less obtainable if you are willing to shell out, the window for 50s Bowmore is virtually shut. One might still be able to pry it open with a thick wad of cash, if sentiment trumps rationality as it may be argued that better value can be found elsewhere.   Which is truly a regretful thing.

 

Bowmore 38 yo 1957 #216-220, 40.1%

 Nose: It’s a fine old and tad delicate Bowmore. More subtle than anything. As it is a Bowmore, it is worth noting it’s not one of those explosively fruity ones though you can indeed feel the lushness of the gagged fruit. Instead I get a more coastal and flinty-mineral nose that’s remarkably gentle, without notable smoke or peat. Also quite a bit of oak and cracking polishes, loads of thick woody resinous notes. Charred oak. Again with a bouquet like this, it seems a waste of words to pick it apart – such is it’s beauty, top marks for profile and integration.

 Palate: Somewhat bigger fruit here but rather thin, and it does feel sort of weak all things considered. But  otherwise its as the nose suggests – ‘old’ notes of polishes, cracked leather, ancient oak. Old dried up resins and waxes. Just gently peated with maybe the merest whiff of smoke.  Coastal air and a small fruit basket. It feels like it’s been too long in wood and starts to come apart sooner than expected. The nose though..
 Finish: Somewhat short…  a bit of salt, a bit of fruit tea maybe. Maybe not at it’s peak. but still extraordinary even in waning.

 

Bowmore ‘Sherriff’s Bowmore’ 7 yo Cogis import gold screw cap, 43% ~mid 1960s bottling

Granted these bottles were being imported for a number of years which span up to early 70s, this MIGHT be an early 60s distillation, BUT I have it on good authority this particular bottle was a mid 60s issue.

 Nose: Much less wood influence, this one feels fresher, much more pristine. Still no blatant fruit, but it’s definitely there deep and bubbling beneath this fantastically subtle mineral-clay-sandy-sea spray-white smoke combo. You can sense its tension but it’s just so well wrangled into this nose. The integration is a work of art. Parts of this reminds me of the 1955 Jug.

 Palate: Very subtle again. High end fruit infusion and a tablespoon of the cleanest seawater. Gentle peat and smoke, more obvious here than on the nose. It all follows on, the minerals, the spray, the clarity and all else the nose suggests, but as expected though not without some disappointment, still not uber fruity. Getting a tad earthy with some bark and old resins, but the low strength starts to show.

 Finish: Again not the longest, ends with a bit of a whimper, but the profile is an example of why old Bowmore is up there on the pantheon.

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This entry was posted on July 16, 2017 by in Bowmore and tagged .

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