Part II of our Malt Nuts Bowmore tasting.... If you didn't have a chance to look at Part I please click this link to check it out and catch up otherwise here are the four whiskies of the second flight and this time they are all from independent bottlers. Thanks again to Josh Peters of The Whiskey Jug for all the info about the bottles.
2A - Old Particular Bowmore 2013 5yo (61.0%)
Color: Almost clear, very pale lemon chiffon with a ring of teardrops around the glass.
Nose: Very spirit forward... Lemon scented surface cleaner, limoncello and beach ball. Adding a few drops of water makes it a little more approachable but now it noses like a cheap blended Scotch: Lemon drops, young grain whisky and metal flasks.
Palate: Incredibly hot at this abv... Some lemon zest and alcohol burn but that's about it. After adding water: Dishwasher detergent, rubbing alcohol and more plasticky goods. It really tastes like lemon scented rubbing alcohol.
Finish: Medium with artificial lemon extract and alcohol burn.
Overall: I understand that it's young, matured in a refill barrel, etc but who would want to bottle this cask and and put on a store shelf after and why..? And who would buy it..? Anyway, let's leave it here and move on to the next bottle.
2B - Hepburn's Choice Bowmore 2001 12yo (58.4%)
Color: Again almost clear... Very faint straw color with thin and fast running legs.
Nose: Very similar to 2A... New make, lemon twist and very distant vanilla. After airing it for some time at least this one start to release something aromas: Plastic tarps, mineral water and pebbles on the beach. With water we get some sea spray, wet sand and underripe peaches.
Palate: Rubber tubes and Bunsen burner. Needs water... Still not that much happening but I got red plums, party balloons and alcohol burn.
Finish: Long with alcohol burn, red pepper flakes and grapefruit.
Overall: It's my bad Bowmore day I am afraid... Two very spirity, under-matured and completely dimensionless casks. This one was better than 2A though to be fair.
2C - Old Particular Bowmore 2001 15yo (58.5%)
Color: Finally some color to look forward to... Aromatic white wine with decent looking oily legs.
Nose: Corn flakes, vanilla and cookie dough. Car tires, white chocolate chips and baking soda. Adding water works great this time: Protein bars, soft caramel and dulce de leche.
Palate: Some rubber and wet soot notes before adding water. Water amplifies peat and adds malted barley, burnt rubber and cigar ash. Burnt ends and sweet and tangy barbecue sauce.
Finish: Long and tart with dill, thyme and burnt fat.
Overall: In spite of being very spirit driven like the previous two bottlings this is actually a whisky I can enjoy... It is pretty doughy, sweet and tart. Good to see things are improving through the flight.
2D - Faultline Bowmore 1997 15yo (60.1%)
Color: Unoaked white wine, straw color with fast and thin legs.
Nose: Very fragrant even before adding water at an abv as high as this... Grilled lemon slices, vanilla and walk at the beach on a cold winter day. Hyacinths, jonquils and jasmine flowers. After a few drops of water: Lime soda, fresh mint leaves and candied orange peels. Very refreshing, sweet and coastal.
Palate: Milk chocolate, jasmine tea and soft baked sugar cookies. Adding water... Not as floral as it was on the nose but more fruity. Apricots, peaches and plums. Fig jam and mint.
Finish: Long with peaches, ash and vanilla.
Overall: My favorite dram from this flight. It was incredibly easy to drink already without adding water at cask strength and opened up even more after. A very solid bottling... I wish I was around in SoCal when this was bottled by K&L Wine Merchants back then.