Bowmore 15, 55.4% – OB for Feis Ile 2012

It’s probably not a secret for anyone who has spent any time reading this wee blog, but I love me some Bowmore. Apart from some expressions that are just a bit too straight forward I think their lighter Islay character, with the citrusy notes, go very well with the smoke, brine and sometimes light ‘cat pee’ notes that I know the distillery for.

This sample had been sitting on my shelf for ages, probably for close to seven years, and I decided I should drink it before it went bad. So, as it turned out (virtually no information on the label) this was a sherried Bowmore at 15 years old. By my guess this shouldn’t have cost more than 80 quid back in the day, and it’s now up to 300, which I don’t even find that shocking.


Image from Whiskybase

Big and sharp sherry notes, not unlike The Devil’s Casks that were released some years ago. Leathery with hints of rancio and furniture polish. It takes a while to get beyond the initial sharpness. Then I start getting notes of dates, but also of sour cherries.

The palate is surprisingly gentle for a rather long while before it starts building. It doesn’t get to the sharpness you’d expect of a nose like this one has. Sweet with syrupy sherry notes. Sour cherries, dates, plums. Still leathery, but not as much as on the nose. Syrupy in texture, which accentuates the sweetness a bit. I get hints of almond and a whiff of bitterness after about half a minute.

The finish ramps up the funky notes from before. Leather, rancio, furniture polish and wax. Big spicy sherry but with some toned down hints of fruit like on the palate.

An insanely tasty dram and showing a whole different side of Bowmore compared to most of what I’ve tasted recently. However, remembering The Devil’s Casks, Laimrig and editions like that, this dram should come as no surprise. More like an affirmation of Bowmore well deserved legendary status.

Interestingly, Bowmore is very good at whiskies like this, even thought they don’t really match the normal ‘lighter’ distillery character. Still, awesome stuff, though.


Bowmore 15, Sherry cask, 1 of 750 bottles, 55.4%, OB for Feis Ile 2012. Available in the secondary market for € 300


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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