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Monday, November 29, 2021

Bowmore 15 year old 2001 Old Particular, cask DL 11658 for K&L Wine Merchants

(Bowmore cluster homepage)

After two great sherry cask 2001 Bowmores, I now present a 2001 Bowmore from a bourbon cask. Though I wish I could do another half dozen of these 2001s, this will indeed be the last one for this cluster. It's another K&L exclusive, bottled by the other half of the Laing family, and it rumbles in at 58.5%abv. I'm game.

Distillery: Bowmore
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Islay
Bottler: Douglas Laing
Range: Old Particular
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants
Age: 15 years (October 2001 - April 2017)
Maturation: bourbon barrel
Cask #: DL 11658
Outturn: 185 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 58.5%
(sample from gridleysredemption, thank you sir!)

Note: Because of the multiple dilutions, these notes will be listed via my old school method. 


Whew, the nose comes in raw and vegetal, with lots of grass and weed (ha!). Grain, hot coals and a whiff of citronella candle follow next. It picks up some mild beach and butterscotch notes with time.

The palate begins hot, ashy and bitter. And there's lots of grass and burlap. Meanwhile, lychee and kiwi juices float beneath it all.

Oof, super bitter finish too. Wormwood, lemongrass, eucalyptus and ash. The fruit goes bitterer as well.


A clearer, richer peat enters the nose, followed by oats, citronella candles and ganja. Hints of tree bark and vanilla bean stay in the background.

The palate reads more pulled together. Less bitter, more zesty tart citrus (or tart citrus zest?). Mild peat and cinnamon syrup fill in the midground.

It finishes with lemon candy, smoke and a hint of lychee.


The nose shifts back to a rawer style of grains, grasses, kiln and peanuts.

The palate reads very faint for 46%abv, with mild notes of citrus, pepper, lychee, toasted oak and vanilla.

Tarter and bitterer than the palate, the finish still holds onto some vanilla and lemon.


My nose and palate prefer this at 50%abv. It still reads about half its age, but it's a better focused winter pour at that strength. Though some vanilla snuck into the whisky, the barrel still feels multi-refill-ish. That's no sin, but the other five 2001 Bowmores (three of which were K&L's) I've reviewed here were all pretty damned good. This is merely, "yeah it's good for a couple drinks." I consumed my two pours, and now I'm going to assign a number to a fluid that people worked hard to produce.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - $89.99 back in 2017
Rating - 83