...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Bowmore 22 year old 1996 Old Malt Cask 20th Anniversary, cask HL 17091

(Bowmore cluster homepage)

I started Monday's review mentioning the triple Taste-Off of 1996 Bowmores that I'd fulfilled last Saturday. And, yes -- spoiler alert? -- it was a wonderful lineup. It's a cluster within a cluster, a highlight within a highlight.

The second whisky of the hoggie trio is one of Hunter Laing's Old Malt Cask 20th Anniversary offerings. These anniversary casks rolled out the same time as Signatory's 30th Anniversary whiskies. Laing didn't add much of a premium (if any) to the prices of their celebratory whiskies, while Signatory boosted their suggested prices 50%-100%. And, frankly, the OMCs interested me more, with Bowmore, Ardmore, Craigellachie and Inchgower among the crowd. Of course, I never got around to buying any, of course. I should have bought this one.

Distillery: Bowmore
Owner: Beam Suntory
Region: Islay
Independent Bottler: Hunter Laing
Range: Old Malt Cask
Age: 22 years old (June 1996 - August 2018)
Maturation: hogshead
Outturn: 288 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
(from a bottle split)


Nose (neat) - The peat arrives more as moss and earth than smoke, and it mixes elegantly with peach puree, yuzu and grapefruit. Gentle farm notes and eucalyptus drift around the edges. A little of the coast (the Irish west coast to me) lingers in the background.
Nose (diluted to 46%abv) - The fruit moves forward, everything else recedes. A little of Ardmore-like beach/wood smoke in the background. Maybe a hint of a creamy confection.

Palate (neat) - A balance of peat and sweet. Chile oil and mango juice. Charred bell pepper skins and orange peels. A slight bitter herbal glow.
Palate (at 46%abv) - Minerals and smoke. Cinnamon mixes with the mango. What a mouthfeel!

Finish (neat) - I find nectarines merging with the chile oil. Bitter herbs and wood smoke.
Finish (at 46%abv) - It's sweeter and fruiter, with a puff of cigar smoke in the background.


I'm actually sipping the second ounce in between typing up these paragraphs. So, my apologies if the paragraphs are short.

The chiles swirl through the lightly tart and sweet nectarine and mango juices. And, yeah. The damned thing was bottled around my 40th birthday and I didn't buy it. Cheers to those who did.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 90

No comments:

Post a Comment