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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Bowmore 11 year old 2001 Maltbarn, No. 09

(Bowmore cluster homepage)

According to my records, I tried this whisky already and gave it a score of 86. But as you know, if something isn't shared publicly then it never happened. THANKFULLY, Mr. Opinions shared a sample of the bottle he opened for his recent twenty-first birthday (congrats, Kiddo!). He liked the whisky way more than 86-points-worth. So it's time to find out how wrong I was, publicly.

Distillery: Bowmore
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: Maltbarn
Age: 11 years old (2001 - 2012)
Maturation: sherry butt
Cask numberNo. 09
Outturn: 175 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 53.6%
(thank you to My Annoying Opinions for the sample!)


The nose starts out with seaweedy peat, candied pecans and nutmeg, while nectarines and green plums float through the background. Its seaweed character strengthens with time, while new notes of sandalwood and manuka honey arise. Once the whisky is reduced to 46%abv, the peat and fruit (key limes and yuzu) expand, with hints of iodine and band-aids lingering in the back.

The palate begins a bit sweeter than expected, loaded with clover honey. The sweetness recedes into a mix of coastal peat, industrial smoke, cayenne pepper and limes. At 46%abv it's full of ultra tart citrus and salty peat, and just a little bit of dates.

It finishes with a subtle honeyed pastry note, limes, coal smoke and ocean brine. The coal smoke remains at 46%abv, while clementines replace the limes.


This is indeed great whisky, and it makes me miss my retired bottle of 2001 Bowmore from Cadenhead. They're different whiskies but both of high quality. This Bowmore's sherry cask had very little influence on the whisky, which works in its favor, letting the Bowmore goodness thrive. I hope more of this cluster's numerous sherry casks play as nicely. It'd be a shame to cover up this style.

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 89

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