(Bowmore is unfortunately on the list of distilleries that are known to add caramel - as identified by those clever European countries where it is necessary for the label to display all artificial additives).
-Blackadder Raw Cask Bowmore 1991 87% Excellent!
-Voyage 84% this is very special, unique even.
-Cask strength 82%
-Darkest 82% excellent sherry influence, but too bad the leafy tones and caramel kicks in.
-17Y 78% im sorry, i know most love this one, but i dont like the leafy and perfumy notes.
-Mariner(15Y) 77% Perfume is overwhelming.
i must say however that with a cigar the 17 beats everything. for the rest, what is it with some bottlings and the perfume/leafy tones? you dont have them in the IB's and those are great stuff. only in some OB's. am i wrong or is every 17Y full of it? the voyage is even extremely full of it, but the sweet port makes up for it. i was wondering what exactly makes those flavors. i know no other brand that has them and even bowmore dont "always" has them. does anybody know? it would help me alot because im still not sure what to think of bowmore in general, is this the house style, or just some bottlings?
any help would be apreciated.
Thenk you, Tom
The leafy/perfumy notes you describe have been identified in numerous Bowmore OB's. It has been discussed recently in threads here. The PLOWED guys over in the U.S call it "FWP" (French Whore's Perfume). What makes it frustrating is that it is an inconsistent & variable phenomenon. I haven't experienced it any bottlings here in Australia, but I know a few guys in the U.S have vowed never to buy a Bowmore again until there is a guarantee that FWP is gone.
I don't believe it is a "house style", although some bottlings had it consistently for a couple of years. If memory serves, some of the guys at PLOWED identified that FWP disappeared (and then occasionally re-appeared) when the bottlings changed between the paper labels and direct bottle printing.
The PLOWED guys took this very seriously, and wrote to the distillery to enquire. I seem to recall the response wasn't very helpful. If you want to follow this up further, drop a post on the PLOWED discussion thread, and a few of the guys there will hopefully provide you with more information and advice on the matter:
I wonder if the Bowmore line up is susceptible to exposure to air after opening? I never encountered a line up that is so negatively influenced by this perfume effect. FWP indeed.
hpulley wrote:They say the floral notes are a characteristic of the distillery!
Thats all i needed to hear. Apart from the darkest i have here at home, There is no way i will be buying another bottle or even a glass of bowmore again.I been wondering quite awhile why bowmore had this taste and was hoping on explanations like "the cask was rotten" or "something went wrong in the washbacks". But if they are even proud on it then thats the end for me. No matter how you look at it, Shampoo has no place whatsoever in any kind of drink.
For example, no such tainted bottles appear to have found their way to Australia. I have my finger on the pulse amongst several malt clubs and regular Bowmore drinkers across several states here, and no one has mentioned it yet, even though we are very much aware that our colleagues overseas have screamed about it.
The most frustrating thing I find about Bowmore is its variability. When it's bad, it's bad, but when it's good, there are very few malts that can equal it.
While I am yet to sample these shampoo bottlings, must say that oxidation seems to affect Bowmore the most. There is a sharp deterioration once the bottle is opened and partly consumed.
If you have been served a particularly bad dram in a pub, chances are the bottle was opened a while ago.
As a matter of fact, there is just one store in one of Australia's lesser populated cities which has specially imported some OMC bottlings of Bowmore. Not much for 22 million people!!
The only other source is the SMWS, but again, with a national membership of around 300 or so, the other 21 million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, seven hundred people are pretty hard done by.
Most of the major OB brands and distilleries are available in Australia.
What I was referring to was that independent bottlings of Bowmore are hard to come by.
The only independent bottlings we get in Australia are MacKillops Choice - and even then, less than 5% of liquor stores would actually have any of these.
There is the one store in Adelaide which I mentioned above (which now has a sister store in Sydney) that acts as an agent for Gordon & MacPhail, but other than that, independent bottlings are virtually non-existent
However, all the usual OB bottlings - Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Macallan, Bowmore, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Glenmorangie, Glenfarclas, Bunnahabhain, Aberlour, Ardbeg, Talisker, Glenkinchie, Benriach, Cragganmore, Oban, Highland Park, Strathisla, etc, etc are available in the better quality outlets around the country.
You were right....Australia is very fond of scotch and bourbon, and we make sure you can easily get it in one form or another! I'm also proud to say that - per capita - we are the world's biggest beer drinkers!
There is some good news though.
I have a single cask bottling of 1992, bottled at 6yo that really is pleasant, young and crisp, with a hint of peat and smoke.
Recently, there was a Whisky Galore bottling (afaik 12 yo) that was quite nice as well. To me, that are good signs for things getting better!
On the other hand, the Bowmores of the 60's are great whiskies. Most I tasted were from Peerless, they were all very, VERY impressive.
These days when i open a bottle, I like to finish it within 2 weeks,
obviously this is a bit drastic but thats what drinking a hell of a lot of Bowmore has done to me
Whats the longest anyone has had a single bottled opened for without variation on taste over time ?
...and not only the bottlings from the 60ies are very good you will find very good ones from 70ties too.
When we tried the first Peerless Bottlings (from 66, 68 and 69), the first one was very fruity, the second one was fruity with herb notes and the last one was fruity and peaty.
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