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11 Bowmore single malts


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Our twice annually held single malt tasting featured Bowmore this time, and as always, one wine with dinner. As always, we nosed/tasted straight and then with a few drops of water (we use eyedroppers to accurately measure as we are tasting quite small drams in the interest of keeping some semblance of wits about us)

Legend (8 years) – high toned nose, not too hot, smooth in the mouth with a peaty element and spice at the end. Water was neutral, neither helping or harming (we have found it often tones down excessively hot malts but often at the cost of harming the nose)

10 – the nose was less sweet, more medicinal. Sweet on palate, water +ve. None of the spice of the 8 and certainly no better over all.

12 – nose a bit sour, hotter and more floral. Water sweetened it in the mouth and took the edges off. A definite salty tang in the nose.

15 (Mariner) – complex caramel nose and also more complex than the previous malts in the mouth. Bit hot, but water was negative. Elegant.

17 – dried fruit nose, hot in mouth and sweet with a salty end. Water –ve.

The 15 was the star of that flight so far!

21 – a creamy wonderful sweet nose, very smooth and elegant in the mouth, sliding down the throat like silk, all elegance and grace. I just couldn’t bring myself to add any water to this, so cannot comment on what it might have done to it. MY malt of the night.

25 – rich fruitcake and butter nose with a mineral facet to it. Thick mouth-feel, long sweet and not too hot. My second malt of the night.

2003 Roberedo Madeira ‘Carm’ – no, thios wasn’t Madeira, it was a Portuguese wine from the Douro, blended form Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz and Touriga Franca. Dark, with a sweet oak nose and nice flavour concentration and length, this is a little marvel at a low price! They also do a high priced reserve that I have not tasted.

Then on to the cask strength bottlings, the basic cask and the cask with various wood treatments.

Cask – (56%) – probably a 14 year old. Lean hot nose with chestnuts, hot even in mouth. Add water, still hot.

Darkest (sherry wood, 43%) – hot rich fruity nose, needed water. You lose on the nose a bit but it tames the heat and makes this more enjoyable.

Dawn (Port aged) – 51.5% - nice sweet fruity nose, hot and benefits from water, peat comes in at the end in the nose, and good body. A lovely dram.

Claret (Bordeaux cask) 56% - an unusual mint or rather peppermint nose, the malt intense and almost acidic in the mouth, water backs off the nose but smooths it on palate. I really liked this one. Best of the special bottlings, although the Dawn was pretty interesting too.

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The 15 was the star of that flight so far!

I wholeheartedly agree about the 15, it's certainly one of my favourite Bowmore whiskies. I'm currently enjoying a glass of the "Cask" you mentioned, its warm smokiness is a great match for a cold rainy day.

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