Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 97.00
Official website: www.bowmore.com
And here we find another Bowmore on these pages, a label loved by many (including our own Bevitore Squattrinato), whose personality is certainly unique and easily recognisable over time.
It’s difficult to add anything else about the oldest distillery on Islay, which, despite the various changes of ownership (which ended in 1994 in the strong Japanese hands of Suntory), has managed to keep certain production traditions unaltered.
This bottling dates back to 2014, distributed as part of the Travel Retail series along with Black Rock and Gold Reef.
The only one of the three to have a declared age, it spent its ageing period in the famous Vault No.1, the oldest warehouse with a rammed earth floor below sea level on the island, and the distillery is very keen to make it special.
With such significant ageing, it’s regrettable that they didn’t have the courage to retain the natural colour, leaving this rich gold in debt to caramel.
Peat greets the nostrils festively as soon as you approach the glass, with a rather meaty connotation that is soon joined by softer, sweeter notes of tropical fruit (passion fruit, mango), blood orange, salted caramel, a harmonious whole cradled by salty waves that caress the aromas. Toasted pistachios. The smoke is a distant but present impression.
In the mouth, it picks up the tones of the nose, with an accent of black pepper, re-proposing the mix of fruit and salty peat with sparkling touches, like sea foam on the rocks. Almond, tamarind, hint of coffee. Warm and fresh at the same time.
The finish is quite long, of dull embers, bitter orange marmalade, a note of leather, salt.
The white sands recalled in the name (referring to those of the Laggan Bay coast on Islay) are reflected in the tones of the whisky, which creates an elegant balance between sea and peat without much layering but with the simplicity that comes from experience.
This piece was originally written in 2019, based on the sample I mention in the introduction, but was revised two years later thanks to a new tasting that made me largely re-evaluate this bottle: the whisky is still the same, but I’ve certainly changed…