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

Bowmore 21 yo 1971 43% vs Bowmore 36 yo 1972 / 2008 Prestonfield #3881 48.8% vs Bowmore 27 yo 1973 / 2000 Blackadder #3176 50.2%

Somewhere else on this sunny island Bowmore week has started…

Bowmore 21 yo 1971 43% ~ bottled 1992

While the fruit isn’t as explosive as say 1968, it remains an encompassing but lazy drone that permeates the nose with the frequency of ripe tangerines, cut stone fruit and some variety of red berries. And together with this flinty, earthy sort of crumbled peat, the tone is struck for a different sort of Bowmore. Make no mistake, it is still gorgeous.

Crushed newspapers, black ink, Kiwi black and some salt tang too, but it is on the palate that the seaspray and dried seaweed in strung nets comes to the fore. Gentle glow of cardamom, aniseed and balm. All the while the sweet and steady mezzo fruit rings true, though a swell to a crescendo would have been glorious, instead it dissipates to calm iodine and salt.

 

Bowmore 36 yo 1972 / 2008 Prestonfield #3881 48.8%

Gone are the fruit this time, here we move squarely into a phenolic world, albeit a rather clean and medicinal one. Spilt lamp oil, soiled clay pots in mud and stale tea sachets. Strangely lacking some maritime notes too, I find little salt but plenty of earthy peat. More phenols now: Lubricants, hot workshops, and clove oil tablets. Honey gone ‘off’ – is that possible? A shelf of pressed flowers on cardboard giftcards. Finally on the tongue, a warmer welcome with browned butter frangipane and poached apricots in honey, with a generous sprinkling of salt and peated smoke. A bit cerebral I think.

 

Bowmore 27 yo 1973 / 2000 Blackadder #3176 50.2%

Remaining in that clean mineral and phenolic world but this does have a certain verve to it from an accentuated vanillic sweetness (good oak), plus lots of zesty tangerines and green mangoes. Salty rocks, and a peat furnace in which was thrown limestone, a whole eucalyptus tree, sticky resins, and metal filings. Much simpler in profile but also graced with an equally open charm. Saltwater, quinine and pine needles on the palate. All the required elements are here but the fruit seems brittle, lacking some depth, and the whole mixes like sand in seawater. A bit of heavy phenolic gravitas at its core would have made this outstanding. Still great whisky though.

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2019 by in Bowmore and tagged .
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