Jun 29, 2012

Berry's Own Selection Bowmore 1987 21yo...

Berry's Own Selection Bowmore 1987 21yo (48.8%): I knew I was about to taste something special when Peter De Decker, the owner of the amazing whisky shop Anverness asked me quietly that morning if I wanted to taste some stuff. After moving to the tasting room in the back I ended up tasting two rare drams I very much enjoyed. First one was a superb single cask bottling of a 15 yo. Old Pulteney from Gordon & Macphail bottled specially for the ALS patient Alain Verspecht who also runs an organization called "A Heart for ALS" raising funds for ALS patients in Belgium. The second one was another single cask expression, a 21 yo. Bowmore from Berry Bros & Rudd. I was lucky enough to be able to get the last drops of the bottle (as you can see in the picture) from Peter in a sample bottle for posting the tasting notes and here we are: The whisky is distilled in 1987 and bottled from the cask numbered 2785 in 2008. Sadly it is sold out some time ago. Color: Very light for a 21 years old whisky. Probably it was aged in a second or third fill hogshead. It has a very pale but thick yellow color, like a barrel aged fine Chardonnay. Nose: Very subtle and mature nose. Nothing is poking out, very balanced. Salty, rubbery and citrusy first. Strong coastal aromas, wet beach sand, cold ocean spray, squeezed lemon zest and rosemary. After allowing it to air it becomes nutty and fruity: almond but more like amaretto, tropical fruits mostly like papaya some guava and ataulfo mangos. With water rubbery nose gets bigger. It also develops even more fruity than before. More on the sweeter side this time though: white grape juice, pear and also some young cognac aromas. Palate: Very medicinal. Didn't see it coming after that fruity nose: First aid kit, dentist's chair, tincture of iodine, powdered latex gloves. Tearing open a condom pack with your teeth... After a while sour fruity character takes over again in form of dried fruits: mango, papaya, kiwi and apricot all containing high levels of sulphur. Crystallized ginger and wool blankets from your childhood you used to sleep in at your grandparent's house. With water addition it gets kind of chalky and dusty. Starfruit, homeopathic remedy pills, wet sand and seaweed. Finish: Not too long but extremely spicy. White pepper, ground ginger and dead campfire... Overall: This is a whisky showing it's age. Not too edgy or vibrant; very mature, balanced and calm. It urges you not to rush and take your time. A great example for ex-bourbon cask aged old Islay whiskies. Many thanks to Teresa Hartmann for tasting the sample together and sharing tasting notes for this post.