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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Bowmore 17 year old (bottled ~2007)

(Bowmore cluster homepage)

2007 appears to have been the end of the road for Bowmore's official 17 year old, as it was replaced by the 18yo that same year. The 17yo seems to have had broad batch variation, with Serge giving the 1995 a score of 84, and the 2000 edition a 65. The LAWS dudes rated it everywhere from F to B+. Could the Hatey Eighties be the culprit?

With this particular bottling, with the then-new label style, likely occurring in early 2007, there may be plenty of '80s spirit in the bottle. But using The Maths, I calculate 1990 being present in the mix. I've found neither soap nor perfume in the 1990 Bowmores I've tried. So perhaps it'll be better than yesterday's 1982?

Distillery: Bowmore
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Islay
Age: at least 17 years
Maturation: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chillfiltered? Yes
Caramel Colorant? Yes, it is very orange
(from a bottle split)


The nose ping-pongs all over the place. Charred beef, Worcestershire sauce, roses, weed, white chocolate, brown butter, and a hell of an alcohol burn for 43%abv. It does pick up a cleaner coastal / seaweed note after 45 minutes.

The palate is......Ash and violet liqueur. Apple cider vinegar, lemon candy and notebook paper. At the same time the nose improves, the palate descends into chemicals, metals and burnt hair.

It finishes even ashier than the palate. The vinegar note is more generic white than apple cider. If the bitter metallic foreground and saccharine midground weren't bad enough, there's some dish detergent in the background.


Was this just the dregs in the bottom of the 17yo vat? I can't picture any blender with tastebuds saying, "Yeah that's exactly what we're going for," after sipping this stuff. There's no through line, no cohesion, no thought in the whisky. It's just a variety of reject casks dumped into a dirty bin, and suck siphoned into bottles that were laying around, because money. I hope this is the worst of the cluster.

Availability - No
Pricing - No
Rating - 67

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