Cadenhead's release in a row... This time it is a Bowmore distilled in 2003 and bottled in 2017. The whisky is matured in a bourbon hogshead for 14 years which filled 294 bottles at cask strength at the end.
Color: Almost clear... Very faint lemon chiffon with short but thick and persistent legs.
Nose: That very typical plastic deli containers smell I absolutely adore in Bowmore is the first thing my nose picks up... Old school women's perfume. Not quite FWP but it is definitely something there embedded hinting me that: Hyacinths, jonquils and lavender. Old rugs, dry soft wood and table salt. A few drops of water pushes the floral notes more forward. Potpourri baskets, honeysuckle and lemon bars.
Palate: Fish oil, seaweed and brine. Salty and oily... Soot, lemon juice and citrus flavored sparkling water. Adding water opens it up quite nice. Charcoal, soap bars and smoked salmon. Lemon curd and lemon flan. Creamy and eggy now...
Finish: Long with black pepper, fish oil, sea water and lemon zest.
Overall: What an incredibly nice whisky... I didn't have high expectations before I popped up the cork but I am pleasantly surprised. This is a great example of how Bowmore distillate can shine with minimal cask influence if allowed. Even after 14 years in a cask.... It is spirit forward, floral, citrusy and ashy... It looks like the hogshead which was probably a refill just took the edges off and let the spirit speak for itself. Gosh, I would love to get a second bottle if I could find one and actually there might be still a few floating around in Europe. It is a single cask but not a very old release. Who knows..? Kudos to Cadenhead's for this bottling.