My initial impression was that this didn't seem to be as complex, balanced, or as good as the 12yo.
Not that it was by any means a poor whisky. In fact, it was good! I've noticed several people here have expressed various opinions as to whether they think the 12yo or 17yo is the better dram, but based on tonight, I think I prefer the 12yo.
However - as several here have pointed out in recent times - you really need to visit a malt several times over a period of time to really explore it and let it hit you from every angle. I shall taste this a few more times over the coming weeks and report my conclusions!
In the last few bottles that I have had, I certainly observe a greater coastal influence on the finish. I did not get such pronounced traces of salt earlier.
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I find that, outwith the specially finished Bowmores, the best (that I can afford) are the Legend and the 17. The Legend is more or less fully bourbon casked while the 17 gives you the taste of a nice thick roast beef sandwich. The 12 always gives me the taste of being neither one thing nor another.
Nose: Intense, salty, pungent
Palate: Intense, with saltiness, sherry sweetness and a moderate amount of peat. Burnt sugar.
Finish: Quite long and burning.
Not bad at all, definitely better than the 12yo (less nauseating and perfumy/seaweedy). Not a lot of character, or anything that stands out, but a robust and enjoyable whisky. Not elegant or refined. A bit too expensive for a whisky which is probably quite young.
I scored it 8 on 10.
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well the nose is very good, by far the best nose on any bowmore, sherry is very obvious and strong, yet not sweet. wich promises a bitter-ish taste as is so common in bowmore (and caramel...) nice balance between oak and malt under the sherry. dont remember any bowmore with such a profound oak nose, i like that. if sniffed deeply the leafy notes emerge and again promise the bitter taste.nevertheless very good nose. (22)
although indeed the best bowmore so far, the nose promises much more then the taste gives. the sherry is alot thinner then you'd expect, and is indeed not as sweet as promised. but its still the dominant taste, the peat is only light to medium, mellow and soft taste over all, leafy notes are weak,the typical bowmore/mint/seaweed is there as usual but in the background and in good balance with the sherry for wich im very gratefull. (21)
The finish is long with now the typical bowmore finish and obvious hints of caramel. all by all the sherry is fighting the bitter leafy/minty/perfumy notes in opposite sides. it has decent balance but too bad the bitter stuff just had to come back. (20)
Overall is think the balance is good, better then everything i had from bowmore and it has good complexity without having to go to extremes (like voyage), too bad the sherry is litlle thin and not as sweet as i expected, i wonder what this would give on cask strength! (22)
overall rating for today : 85, wich is best bowmore so far. depending on how the sherry opens in the bottle might win or lose 1 or 2 points.
all by all thanks harry for the advice, i like it.
A-B taste-off between the 12yo and 17yo.
In truth, trying to find a winner was a tough call.
The 17yo had a more interesting nose, but the 12yo had a more complex palate. Perhaps the extra years in the wood had flattened out the 17yo's flavour profile.
Both had beautiful finishes.
In a score out of 10, I would separate them by no more than 0.1. (Perhaps 8.1 for the 12yo and 8.0 for the 17yo).
Needless to say, they're both fantastic drams.
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Not bad at all! It was worth the money. There is a slight trace of the floral which has more citrus overtones than bubble gum and adds to the character of the whisky instead of killing it.
Overall this is a nice balanced mix of smoke, malt, oak, sea salt with a touch of peat. I would catagorize this malt as a good example of Islay. There was not much that stood out like peat, spice, or anything complex. A bit sweet for my tastes but still good. If it had more peat and was a little less sweet I'd be buy a case tomorrow. For a cask strength this is the smoothest I've had.
Thanks for the review on Bowmore 17yo. I'll grab a bottle next week. I may take a gamble and try "darkest" which I've heard has been very inconsistent... or maybe I'll stock up on a couple bottles of the Cask Strength to be safe
It's true that some Bowmores in recent years have had quite an excessively floral nose - and yes, many have faulted it. The guys over at PLOWED coined their own quaint term for it, "FWP". F stands for French, the P stands for Perfume, and I'll let you guess what the "W" stands for!
Many find it overbearing, others just accept it as an overly-floral Islay malt! The annoying thing is that it is inconsistent - it seems to be there in various batches across the Bowmore profile of bottlings for a while, and then it suddenly isn't. A few Bowmore connoisseurs noted that the FWP disappeared when the bottlings went from being direct-bottle printed to the paper labels.
After the nose of mild sea air, honey and faint roses and the first impression on the palate being somewhat sweet that it quickly became intensely salty and peaty, followed by caramel and with a peppery finish.
I like this one quite a bit.
hows that for irony huh. this is the first bowmore i EVER had without the perfumy/floral notes. and this dram was good, it was botlled on cask strength (about 58%) for a couple of guys that bought a cask so no need looking for it. but it had nothing in common with the present "housestyle" of bowmore. actually some so called connaiseurs there told me that taste is the bowmore of old days (60's-70's). whatever it was, for christ sake if they actually CAN make bowmore this good, then why dont they????
i dont find the same notes in Auchentoshan however, got a botlle here and just tryed it.
I remembered once a summer night and it was about ten o clock, I just poored myself a Bowmore 21Y old and that lasted until bedtime, wich was past midnight. Now what more can you wish for?
In general I like Bowmore and it's sometimes nice to have dram of that stuff. Although there some independent expressions from Bowmore and I must admit that not every expression is a good one, the ones I like are Signatory, Hart Brothers and from time to time a Blackadder.
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