If there are any regulars and they’ve read some earlier posts on Bowmores from the mid-nineties, they probably know I really love these vintages. 1993 is always the much laureled vintage, but I generally prefer 1995 and 1996 for a more typical dram of Bowmore, reminiscent of the 1960s style. Of course, this is all in my humble opinion.
So, when this 1995 vintage was spied with my little eye at The Old Pipe, some years ago, I picked it up and did a small bottle share with it later. Small, as in, I still kept 30 or 40cl for myself and only sold a few samples.
You wouldn’t say it by the color, but this was drawn from a refill sherry cask in 2012, at 54.4%. So, even though it’s not really old, the ABV had mellowed quite a bit by then.
Gentle wood smoke and a whiff of earthy peat. A hint of brine and some subdued dried fruit. Some coconut, peach, apricot and tarry ropes. A whiff of fresh paint and boats. Of course, behind it all is reliable barley and oak.
The smoke is a bit sharper here. Also, while gentle on the nose, this is where the strength shows. There’s peach, apricot and Valencia oranges. Also, there’s brine, smoke, tar. Fruit and harbor.
The finish has a bit of dryness and bite because of the alcohol. Apart from that, there’s fruit, smoke and oak.
Typical Bowmore. Utterly delicious and rather smooth and gentle. Some bite, but never too much and well balanced. The coastal peatiness works very well with the fruit from the sherry cask, and because it’s a refill cask there’s more than enough room for the spirit to shine.
Available in the Whiskybase Marketplace for € 170.
Bowmore 1995-2012, 16yo, Refill Sherry cask 8, 603 bottles, 54.4%