Bowmore Warehousemen’s Selection, 17yo, 1999, 51.3%

When I was on Islay, of course I didn’t just buy a shared bottle of Bunnahabhain Marsala Cask, we also went to Bowmore. We obviously went to Bowmore since we could see the distillery from our cottage, and it’s a great distillery to boot.

At the time they didn’t have a cask out for a handfilled Distillery Only bottling, which was a shame. They did, however, have this Warehousemen’s Selection available. A 17 year old whisky, matured in. This looked very appealing, but that may be the case because I was all giddy about being on Islay and being at Bowmore. I couldn’t remember for the life of me that this was matured in wine casks, as well as sherry and bourbon. I generally don’t like wine casks, and Bowmore’s wine casks have done nothing to change that opinion.

When I found this out, when I printed the label for my share, I was a bit apprehensive about trying it. Not entirely without reason.

164023-big

Image from WhiskyBase

Sniff:
Smoke with fruity wood notes. A bit like a burnt cake with red fruits. Almond ‘spijs’, nuts, dark and sugary bread.

Sip:
Quite sharp, with lots of sweet fruit on the arrival. It builds to a lot of chili heat, which gives it some sort of urgency. Red fruits, almonds, very dessert like. But with oak and smoke and barley.

Swallow:
The finish is strangely warm, with little to no typical Bowmore flavors. Lots of red fruits, stewed strawberries, sweet blackberries, maybe even rhubarb.

There’s a certain weirdness that’s not bad, but just weird. It makes it hard to love this whisky. The combination of flavors is a bit off whack, and the fact that the heat on the palate makes me want to finish is quickly is not a good thing.

So, there’s positives, with it being a complex whisky with lots of flavors. And there’s negatives with this being a very weird whisky that I couldn’t really find enjoyable. Bummer.

Apparently, I’m an outlier here, since it gets almost 90 points on Whiskybase, with almost a hundred ratings.

83/100

Bowmore Warehousemen’s Selection, 17yo, 1999, Bourbon & Sherry & Wine casks, 51.3%

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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