A return to a favourite. Bowmore 12y has long been one of our favourites, one of the few scotches I’ve bought more than once. This particular bottle comes from Goran’s collection.
We have had the Bowmore 12y before, as well as several others, but the last review was about 60 words long, hence this Round 2. Let’s see what there is to know about Bowmore.
Reading their website, there’s two things that really stand out as interesting in the Bowmore brand story. They’re “one of an ever decreasing” number of Islay distilleries to peat their own malt. Which is cool, and good for them.
The other stand out is their ageing vaults. “The legendary no. 1 vaults” are advertised as both the oldest in Scotland, and the only below sea level. Interesting, but why would that be important? Is there maybe some science on this?
My wildly conjectured hypothesis is that the lower altitude, higher pressure and increased moisture might limit the “angels’ share” and/or “devil’s cut”, or the portions of spirits lost to the air and the wood, respectively. Pressure may also affect how far the whisky penetrates into the wood of the cask – this guy is trying to sell hyperbaric bourbon to force faster interaction, for example. I don’t know how much I buy pressure over time, but they did win a Manny. And people are trying all sorts of ultrasonics and oxidation techniques. So it’s nice that Bowmore are happy to let tradition and mother nature (in the form of physics and chemistry) do the heavy lifting for them.
Here’s what we thought this time:
Ryan – cherrywood smoke
Simon – hardwood smoke, subtle vinyl, char, herring
Goran – smoked meat, peat, salt water, fennel
Ryan – mossy *smacks lips*
Simon – good chest burn, great smoke, meat, savoury
Goran – touch of spice, smoke, warming, not harsh burn
Ryan – \
Simon – } NO.
Goran – /
Try it? Yes! Buy it? Yes