...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Bowmore 14 year old 2004 SMWS 3.313 for Feis Ile 2019

I don't know when I bought into this bottle share, nor do I remember why. Unless an Ardmore or some old weird thing is offered, I don't chase after SMWS bottlings for reasons covered in this blog ad nauseum. But I apparently went in on this Feis Ile exclusive, and it probably wasn't cheap. That festival has inspired many humans to spend an unwise quantity of GBP/EUR to fetch a single bottle of exclusive whisky on the secondary market. If that quantity is X, then an SMWS Feis Ile whisky expenditure will be approximately 2X.

Anyway, this whisky is gorgeous.

Distillery: Bowmore
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Islay
Independent bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 14 years (September 2004 to 2019)
Maturation: second-fill hogshead
Cask "name": Tempting trilogy of tastes
Cask number: 3.313
Outturn: 138 US bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 54.2%
(from a bottle split)

Three layers to the nose. Mango, honey and honeydew on top. Juicy Fruit gum and cinnamon in the middle. Pumpernickel bread and grassy peat on the bottom. It gradually all fades out leaving only mango and honey behind. The palate is fruitier somehow. Grapefruit, papaya, lychee and a hint of that mango are all in the foreground. Minerals, earth and serrano peppers rumble beneath. The fruits glide slowly into a crisp tartness after 30 minutes. It finishes moderately sweet/tart with lychee, lemons, malt and a whiff of smoke.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, 1 tsp of water per 30mL whisky
The nose keeps all the neat fruits, adds some orange oil and dusts it all with baking spices. Similarly, the palate holds onto all the fruits, with the bright grapefruit being framed by chimney smoke and an herbal bitterness. It finishes with tart fruit, minerals and a hint of bitter smoke.

Kristen drank a third of this sample. Nothing I can say will top that approval. But I'll write a few more words, as I do. The fruity essences' intensity shows best in the palate as it meets and merges well with the darker notes, while the nose is so pretty that one can only thank and re-thank Bowmore for ditching this cask instead of burying it in an OB. Thanks again, Bowmore! Keep giving away the honey casks.

Availability - Sold out in primary market, secondary market though...
Pricing - originally $155, secondary price is a lllllllllot more
Rating - 90