Bowmore 17, 2002-2019, Bourbon Hogshead, 53.6% – Cadenhead

Over a decade ago I visited quite a lot of whisky tastings at De Whiskykoning in Den Bosch. Even back then, when a 6 to 10 year old Bowmore from around 2000/2002 came out from bottlers like The Ultimate or Signatory, they were lovely.

Now, we’re quite a few years further along and these Bowmores have come of age. Also, they have come of price. But, when you can get a sample, you’re in for a treat. Especially, at least from personal preference, these Bowmores from bourbon casks are amazing.

Image from Whiskybase

Let’s see if this ones lines us with expectations!

Very spirity, with lots of fresh leaves and moss, fresh white oak and some alcohol. There’s a bitter note too, with some minerals. Iron and hay. After a couple of minutes there’s a coastal note, with some salinity.

The palate starts very gentle, without giving way to a sharp sensation. It’s dry, woody and there’s a note of alcohol. Moss, ferns, fresh leaves, oak shavings. A bit of an austere bitterness with some minerals and salinity. There is the slightest wisp of smoke.

The finish is rather similar, but does add a note of vanille and leaves all sharpness behind immediately. After a little while the very light smoky note lingers longest, but shows mostly in a slight briny note.

I love that the cask hasn’t overpowered the spirit and went very well balanced instead. Bourbon casks have the risk of over influencing whisky with vanilla aromas and flavors. This one luckily hasn’t gone that way.

The smoke is very gentle, which is also rather typical. But the green notes that come along with it make for a cracking whisky! Gorgeous stuff.



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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