Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #98

Bowmore 17 yo
Single Malt
43% abv

Built ten years after the famous round church that sits atop a small hill in the capital of islay, Bowmore the distillery has been a major part of Bowmore the town since 1779. The local townfolk have been known to wander into the stillhouse to warm themselves on some of those bone-chilling winter days that Bowmore can have. If Percy or others at the distillery know you're coming, they just may have your national flag flying on the third flagpole beside the Scotland and United Kingdom flags. Be sure to pronounce it "bo- MORE" to keep your hosts happy. BowMORE is at the forefront with practical innovations that benefit the distillery and the community. Its heat recycling system has significantly reduced their reliance on peat. The "waste heat" is used to heat the village's swimming pool, which is located adjacent to the distillery complex.

More on the distillery, and other Bowmore appearances in the mission can be found HERE.

For over 200 years Bowmore has attracted the respect of those lucky enough to taste what it produces. In his Spirit Journal, F. Paul Pacult wrote "that Bowmore might just be Scotland's foremost malt distillery at this time"(2003), and in his book, Raw Spirit, Ian Banks writes , "If you can't find a Bowmore to fall in love with, you may have to consider very seriously the possibility that you're wasting your money drinking whisky at all." With a wide range of releases, and a whole new line to familiarize yourselves with, there is bound to be a Bowmore that you'll dig.

This 17 year old is a piece of history as the old range has been replaced with the new core range. It will be missed by many, myself included, but it is comforting to know that the new Bowmore 18yo, effectively the 17's replacement (although at quite a price jump), won Double Gold AND Best in Show at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007.

*- price is subject to change with diminishing availabilty. The new Bowmore 18 comes in at £50 is or $85(USD)


Soft peat allows fruit and such to lead aroma-wise with some salty, Islay character in there, too. Together it becomes like I have always described this whisky; standing next to a sweaty man on a packed tube/train. Very juicy and sweet while salty and spicy (onions? curry?) and musky.

Medicinal cream, like a butter coated tylenol/paracetamol. A tight package, moving from chocolate-y sherry notes to medicinal and dairy ones right off the top, but remaining an impressive package of exotic fruits and peat for at least half a minute. Some greenness emerges late with a finale of soft smoke.


Big Islay, but somehow delicate. Great mix of the 'dirty', phenolic aspects that make Islay famous and the less celebrated ones of chocolate, lively fruit and spice. Perfectly balanced Islay malt whisky. Dearly dearted, indeed.

Malt Mission #96
Malt Mission #97
Malt Mission #99
Malt Mission #100

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