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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Bowmore 16 year old 1993 The Perfect Dram (53.8%abv version)

(Bowmore cluster homepage)

In 2010, The Whisky Agency bottled three separate 16 year old 1993 Bowmore hogsheads without cask numbers, with nearly identical labels. Graphic design doesn't change the flavor of the whisky (yet), but that approach is confusing. Anyway, one last sherry-free Bowmore for the year...

Distillery: Bowmore
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: The Whisky Agency
Range: The Perfect Dram
Age: 16 years old (1993 - 2010)
Maturation: bourbon hogshead
Outturn: 222 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 53.8%
(from a bottle split)


The nose has that perfect balance of kiln and seaweedy smoke. Then fresh herbs, fennel bulb, lemon peel, toasted pecans and a hint of watermelon candy. Diluted to 46%abv, the whisky shows less smoke, but more fruit variety (plums and apricots join the lemons) with a hint of rose blossoms in the back.

The zippy palate is full of bitter chocolate, charcoal smoke, horseradish and lemons. It has a great bitterness and just a touch of metal. At 46%abv, it's simpler, much more peppery, with oranges and ashier peat.

It finishes with lemon, salt and horseradish up front, dried herbs and smoke in the back. At 46%abv, the finish matches the palate.


Another great lazy cask lets the coastal spirit shine, especially at the reasonable full strength. It may not be as complex as other Bowmores from this cluster, but it is exactly what I'd want from a 16yo Islay malt. I have a feeling there were hundreds of such hogsheads filled with 1990s Bowmore distillate made available by independent bottlers. I hope many of you obtained a bottle or two or seven of these, opened them, shared them and enjoyed them.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88 (when neat)

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