Just a quick pair here before the onslaught of Campbeltown related news and reviews.
Thanks are due to Chris for both of these, the first is a split auction win, the second a dram from his open bottle.
Bowmore 10 years old, Glasgow Garden Festival 1988, 40% B+
Nose - Clean, solventy, apple chews. Toffee apples maybe, which takes me to salted caramels. With time there's an intriguing dark wineyness.. but there's a cardboardy hole knocked out of the midrange which detracts overall. Love those apple chews though.
Body - Salty. It tastes old, like over the hill. A little like a Macdonalds burger bun; dry sweetened cereal, a bit cardboardy. The peat is there (old cigar tobacco) later in the delivery.
Finish - Quite long, softly bitter. Quite ordinary at the end… actually there's a white wine acidity that's quite good and grapey at the very end.
I guess not all whiskies are meant to be held onto for a long time. An interesting piece of (relatively recent) history though.
Nose - Big, clean and balanced, refill bourbon Bowmore FTW! Slightly sweet, some refreshers, a touch of raspberry. Coastal and refreshing, but with an elegant, floral complexity and balance that’s really enticing. At first I thought the nose on this suggested mid-teens but with time that complexity makes me rethink, and anyway they say the youngest cask was 1996.
Body - OK definitely older than 15. Elements of parmas, buttery cask and mukhwas… robust but mature with a lovely balance. Tabasco sauce and a deep, aged cereal tone I'm beginning to associate with Elements of Islay bottlings. Extremely drinkable.
Finish - Medium, creamy, sweetshop led. A lick of sulphur, Asian fruit.
Some of these elements bottles are so good. I'm a big fan of vattings of small numbers of casks to produce something complex but balanced (like Cadenhead’s small batch range), and this is a great case in point. Highly recommended.