Bowmore, which is pronounced…………..Bowmore.  It doesn’t get much easier to pronounce than this one, which, even to this day, I’m still being corrected on pronouncing the rest of the Islay distilleries.  The distillery was built in 1779, which makes it the oldest working distillery on Islay, and given the 24/7 malting floors operating most of the year, I believe the hardest working distillery on Islay.  Also given the charming people that work there, it has to be in the running for the friendliest distillery on Islay.  The two Spirit and two Wash Stills are bright copper kettles which convert waste heat into heating for the public swimming pools (built in a former Bowmore warehouse) rumor has it that this was done to stop the distillery workers from swimming (or bathing) in the Washbacks.

Bow-more in English means ‘kinky-extra’ or contrarily translated means ‘extra-kinky’.  If your kinky leanings are towards extra or more than average flavor, then this whisky should be your perverse tipple of choice.  After all, Bowmore can offer it all, from sweet creamy vanilla bourbon, ripe tropical fruit cocktail, wild Islay sea sprayed peat and exquisite floral fragrances like raindrops on roses.  These are a few of my favorite things, and when I’m feeling sad I simply pour a dram of Bowmore and then I don’t feel so bad.

Both of these vatted ex-bourbon oak cask limited release whiskies have served a better than 28 year sentence in the dark cold sea salt mines of vault number one and only let out for good flavor.  Not the big fruit bombs of the sixties and seventies, but the hills are alive with the aroma of flowers, with fragrances that have drifted for a thousand years.  Don’t attempt to drink these malts if you suffer from hay fever or *rum disease (*similar to Lyme disease, but only affects rum drinkers).


Bowmore 1981 and 1982

Bowmore Limited Release Distilled 1981 – Bottled 2010 49.6 % ABV 402 Bottles

NOSE:  Ginger ale.  Vanilla.  Potpouri of different floral scents.  Farmy smoky notes.
TASTE:  Oranges and cherries.  Caramel and milk chocolate.
FINISH:  Medium to long.
ASSESSMENT:  Extreme to the max.  Sweet, floral, and no…not the FWP found in some nineties versions, but an enjoyable unmatched floral experience.  My personal favorite of the two releases.
Bowmore Limited Release Distilled 1982 – Bottled 2011 47.3 % ABV 501 Bottles

(Advance sample provided by Andrew Ferguson, KWM)

NOSE:  Spicy floral.  Light and citrus fruits.  Crisp apple strudel.  Vanilla with a small smoky bacon note.
TASTE:  Extreme floral.  Caramel.  Raspberries.  Almond chocolate.
FINISH:  Medium.  Beautiful creamy finish.
ASSESSMENT:  Not as floral, but in the same league of extraordinary bourbon casks as the 1981.


Because of the special floral nature of these two whiskies I was given to create a Haiku poem:





As always, Maltmonster

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