Оценка: 82-82,5/100. Цена: около 50 – 60 лв за бутилка от 0,700 мл.
Bowmore 12 y.o. single malt whisky
The last few articles were dedicated to the peated distillates and after having gone through Ballechin 10 y.o. single malt, Talisker 11 y.o. single malt Distiller`s Edition, Johnnie Walker Black Label blended whisky and Laphroaig 10 y.o. single malt cask strength whisky, we are heading to the final post, in which I’ll present you another peated, smoky gentleman and this is Bowmore 12 y.o. single malt whisky.
As you may have guessed, it originates from the eponymous distillery, located on the Scottish Island of Islay – that of Bowmore. Allegedly, it was founded in 1779, making it one of the oldest in Scotland. The whisky is characterized by lower levels of smokiness in comparison with the other island competitors /explainable by the fact that the malt is dried over a peat fire for only 15 hours, while competitors’ duration is almost twice as long, then add to it water from the Laggan River/. Their repository or warehouse lies below sea level and the ocean water constantly crashes into its walls, for which is also said to be the oldest functionally differentiated for the purpose of aging the whisky, across Scotland. The name of the distillery carries ancient Celtic spirit and translated means „great sea reef“ or „sea rock“. Pride is the fact that part of the malt is dried in the distillery and during this process the malt is manually turned every four hours /turning the malt by hand is quite labor intensive and in the past the repetition of doing this over many years led the distillery workers to develop a bone deformation known as ‘monkey shoulder’, as can be found and the whisky named „Monkey Shoulder“, the composition of which includes malt representatives of Kinninvie, Balvenie and Glenfiddich/, while the most of it is purchased by special complexes /in the present, almost every major company in the world owns not only malt distilleries and grain complexes, but also and facilities that process the barley according to the requirements of each distillery, that uses their services/, offering malt according to the claims of the buyer. This sounds perfectly reasonable, having in mind the huge amount of whisky produced and the need for plenty of barley – Bowmore has an annual capacity of 2,000,000 litres, which are bottled at a facility in Springburn, near Glasgow. Another interesting fact of the production activity is the way of spending the unnecessary heat that is released in the process – it is used for heating the public pool, built in a building once belonged to the distillery. The beginning of the distillery’s activity was set by a local merchant, John Simpson, who was replaced by James Mutter, who also also had farming interests and was diplomatic representative of the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, and Brazil in Scotland. In 2007, a bottle of whisky bottled during his governance in 1850, was sold for around £30,000. In the early 20th century, the ownership changed several times. World War II imposed the conversion of the buildings in headquarters of the British military units. In 1963, the distillery was acquired by the Morrison Bowmore company. The large Japanese company Suntory was a shareholder in Morrison Bowmore, and subsequently purchased the whole company. In the following years much efforts have been made for raising the prestige of the brand, and currently it occupies the leading positions in sales of whisky from the island of Islay, led by Laphroaig, also owned by Suntory. Besides moments of glory, the Bowmore’s history knows and moments of ups and downs. In particular, part of the distillates from the early 90’s were shunned by the connoisseurs as some of them found aroma and taste, that designated as ‘French Whore Perfume’. I have not come across such samples, and I can’t say what exactly this fragrance contains. The current representatives of the brand definitely have nothing to do with France.
Now a few words about the whisky in question. Like most of the base class whiskies with age statement /under „base“ understand introductory, but not ordinary or bad/ the liquid is chill filtered, with artificial colouring added, an alcohol content of 40%, and the 12 years of aging include a long period in ex-bourbon barrels and a shorter one in ex-Sherry casks /but I think that these barrels are second and even maybe third-fill/. As I mentioned at the beginning, the liquid is peated, but given the specificities in the production of Bowmore, I expected to be less intense. And I wasn’t misled.
Aroma – watercolour paints, peat, salt, lemon, cinnamon /spiciness/, sweetness, caramel, cake layer, association with furniture polish product, a distant memory for strawberry jam and plums. The peat really isn’t that strong, and the aroma is dominated by caramel and sweetness. I didn’t add water. Taste – peat, fireplace or ash /an association – I’ve never tasted them :D/, sweetness, spiciness, honey and a hint of dried fruits. Finish – medium in length, light bitterness, malty sweetness, peat, butter.
Assessment: 82-82,5/100. Price: around 50-60 lv for a bottle of 0.700 ml.