...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Bowmore 19 year 1996 AD Rattray, cask 960059

(Bowmore cluster homepage)

On Saturday night, I did a triple Taste-Off of 1996 Bowmore single hoggies, which puts it in the running for The Evening of the Year. I'd like to thank past-me for scheduling such a thing.

AD Rattray's cask #960059 bats leadoff. This is the fourth '96 Bowmore ADR single cask review on this site, which is positively Valentinian! Anyway, I ♡ their Bowmores so I'll skip the babble.

Distillery: Bowmore
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: A.D. Rattray
Age: 19 years (27 March 1996 - 5 May 2015)
Maturation: hogshead
Cask number960059
Bottle count: 275
Alcohol by Volume: 49.2%
(from a purchased sample)


The simple, lean nose focuses first on barley, BBQ peat and saline. There's never any heat, nor vanilla. Small notes of new tires, cured pork and apricots develop after a while. Diluted to 46%abv, the whisky develops a good balance of farm, beach, smoke and saline.

Salt, lemons and seaweedy peat arrive in the palate first, followed by apricot jam and pink peppercorns. It takes on a mix of heat, pepper and bitterness after a half hour, but then shifts back to seaweed and stone fruits at the hour-mark. The fruits get sweeter at 46%abv, and are met with wood smoke and hints of chile peppers and salt.

The peat reads loudest in the finish, with salt, lemons and apricot jam in the background. It takes on bitter herbs and peppercorns with time. Reduced to 46%abv, it finishes with a blend of sweet fruits and peat.


Though it's not the most sophisticated member of the cluster, this whisky is a very crisp and solid pour, offering a great demonstration of 19 years in a lazy cask. The curiously low ABV turns out be a good strength here, and I like the whisky more than its stronger sibling cask 960057. It feels like a good autumn evening malt, or perhaps something to enjoy at the beach on a cool spring night. Or to pair with two other '96s...

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87