...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Bowmore 15 year old 2001 Cadenhead Authentic Collection

Yes, a review from one of my own bottles! This thingy was purchased during our July 2016 Scotland trip. One recommendation: If you perchance visit Campbeltown, get thee to the Cadenhead shop. What you actually do there is up to you. Just, you know, keep your pants on.

Of all the Authentic Collection whiskies in the store, why did I choose this one? Firstly, I tend to adore indie Bowmores from this era. Secondly, Serge gave it a rave review. Now — I've probably stated this before — the more whisky experience I gain, the less I concur with Whiskyfun's reviews and tasting notes. But I thought I'd risk this one, since I really enjoyed the only other Authentic Collection Bowmore I'd tried up to that point. (To balance things out, the other Authentic Collection bottle I bought was one that WF didn't like. I'll keep that whisky a mystery for now.)

Did I set myself up for disappointment with this Bowmore? There's only one way to find out.

Here's all the usual whisky info!


Its color is very very pale. The nose begins with smoked fish and dirty hay. Fresh lemons and a just a hint of asphalt. Meaty and savory, like a stew with bay leaves and potatoes. Pennies! There's still a sizable barley note beneath the peat. The palate leads with herbal liqueur, asphalt and mossy peat. Charred fish. Or rather, blackened fish loaded with cajun spices. Fresh lemons, again. Apple cider vinegar, but in a good way. It's warm but never hot. It finishes with a mild sweetness. Citrons and Meyer lemons. Tangy smoke and smoked fish.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or >1tsp water per 30mL whisky
The nose gets farmier. Savory and salty. Dried thyme. Rock candy. Adding water keeps the sweet and peat in perfect balance in the palate, making it very drinkable, while NOT dumbing it down. It gains a perky bitterness. Lots of lemons and dried herbs. A little bit of the asphalt, again. The finish is lightly sweet with bitter herbal smoke, tart lemons and peppery aftertaste.

Oh yeah, this is the stuff.

It's exactly what I'm looking for in an indie Bowmore. There's just enough age to it to calm the rawness. Cask influence is low, but it's not dead wood. Great balance of seemingly dissimilar elements. The combination of smoked fish and fruit is a knockout when done right, as it was here. And, despite the strength of its peat and ABV, it is a very relaxing drink that vanishes from the glass much too soon.

Kristen just asked, "Do you have buyer's remorse?" I replied, "I do not."

Availability - Cadenhead shops, but I don't know if it's still in stock
Pricing - £78 (w/VAT)
Rating - 89