Apr 5, 2017

Signatory Vintage Bowmore 12yo...

Signatory Vintage Bowmore 12yo (59.1%): Second vial from our recent sample swap... It is a single cask Bowmore bottled for K&L Wine Merchants by Signatory. The whisky is distilled in 2001 and bottled in 2014 from a refill sherry butt at cask strength. When it comes to independent Bowmore releases I admit that I am getting a little overexcited... In years I tasted so many amazing independent Bowmore bottlings which I liked far better than the official line-up and they usually are more reasonably priced as well. I always liked the spirit coming out of the distillery's stills but except the Tempest/Dorus Mor series which are extremely hard to find anyway, I don't think that I can name any regular distillery release that I really feel connected to. So, I am excited for this one and thanks again to Florin for the sample...

Color: Light amber, orange blossom honey.

Nose: Thick and dark honey, like buckwheat or chestnut honey. A little sulphur but quite tolerable... Struck matches, cooked prunes, poached plums and beef stew. You can almost visualize the big sherry butt the whisky was aging in: old, blue-gray and moldy. Damp black soil... It reminds me very much the whiskies bottled by Michel Couvreur. Candle wax, orange zest marmalade and campfire in the woods fueled with pine needles, charcoal, tree bark and dry leaves. A very layered and busy nose for a twelve years old whisky. Water adds a few more notes... A little coastal now. Sea salt, wet sand and barbecue smoke. More honey and more mold. 

Palate: Bold, thick and powerful entrance... Again beef stew, barbecue sauce and rubber band balls. Molasses and aged rum... Still a little sulphury but water helps to get rid of most of the off notes. Metal lunch boxes, paprika and chipotle. Burnt sugar, burnt citrus peel and fire place ash. Tarte tatinrum baba and cloves. Walnut liquor, wet tobacco and old leather upholstery.

Finish: Quite long with candies nuts, honey syrup and molasses.

Overall: If this was a blind tasting there was no way I could guess this bottle being a twelve year old whisky. It noses and tastes much older... It is viscous, bold and thick, a real treat for a sherry cask lover... . One of the least coastal Bowmore bottlings I tasted. I would definitely consider to purchase a bottle especially at this price but it is long gone. Thanks again to Florin for the sample.

Price: $90