...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Bowmore 11 year old 2000 Sovereign (K&L exclusive)

Sweet Cthulhu's mercy, this is my THIRTIETH review of a K&L exclusive whisky. Those reviews have been slowing down. There were zero in 2017, in fact. I was about to type "and I have don't have any left in the sample stash", but holy crap I was wrong.

This is the earliest K&L sample I will ever review. It hit the shelves a month or two before I first set foot in that store. It was even a few months before I started blogging about whisky. The sample comes from MAO, so that means he was on the K&L scene before I was. That man has always been a devoted member of the Double David Fan Club. *wink emoji*

Continuing with the theme, this is a single cask Bowmore aged in a sherry hogshead. It's very dark in color, especially considering the age. So I anticipate some cask influence.

Distillery: Bowmore
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: Hunter Hamilton
Series: The Sovereign
Exclusive to: K&L Wine Merchants
Age: 11 years old (2000 - Aug 2011)
Maturation: sherry hoggie, possibly American oak
Cask numberHH7613
Bottles: 180
Alcohol by Volume: 57.5%
Chillfiltered: No
Colored: No
(Sample from a swap with MAO, like a thousand years ago)

The nose begins with dark chocolate, gritty peat and roses. Pears and vanilla. Grapefruit and Heath Bar. With time the flowers go Full Violets, budging ahead of almost all other scents. The palate is tangy, sweet and sour. The peat reads sort of grassy. Vanilla. It gets both sweeter and bitterer with time in the glass. A few of the roses appear here. The long finish is very sweet. Lots of oranges and sugar. Plenty of dirty peat too.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or 1½ tsp water per 30mL whisky
The nose gets more desserty, less floral. Lots of gooey caramel, vanilla and toffee things. Cinnamon and citronella. The peat gets quieter, earthier. The palate has bitter smoke and limes. A hint of milk chocolate. It finishes sweet and tangy. Lightly peaty.

I'm going to ignore the flowers for the next paragraph.

This whisky never really worked for me, even though it was generally short on flaws. The sweets and vanilla didn't really work for my palate, and often shouted down the other characteristics. Adding water did improve the situation, though. The nose worked better than the palate (again). Meanwhile...

...the nose's flower strike was a surprise. That's the biggest violet appearance outside the Dreaded Eighties that I've yet found in a Bowmore. Luckily they didn't sneak into the mouth. A hint of rose is okay, sometimes great. But violets, nah.

While MAO found some similar notes in this whisky, he enjoyed it more than I. Florin liked it more too. So that makes me the sour puss. Man, I hope my review doesn't stop this cask from selling out.

Availability - With or without a time machine?
Pricing - $80
Rating - 80 (with water)

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