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Whisky Reviews

Bowmore 18 Years Old, 43% ABV


Thanks to Bowmore and Beam Suntory, we recently got the opportunity to explore some amazing Bowmore expressions, including the flagship 18 Year Old that so many of us are familiar with.

Let's give this a taste again.

Bowmore 18 Years Old, 43% ABV – Review


Colour: Russet.

Nose: Opens with a rich aroma of caramel apples first. This sweetness is intertwined with pine trees and the warm sweetness of charred pineapple adding depth. There is a palpable intensity and liveliness in its citric sourness, layered with the gentle smoke of tobacco, and a subtle nuttiness reminiscent of almond butter.

Palate: Presents a rich and round profile with mellow ashiness and pronounced sweetness. Indulgent caramel and chocolate notes seamlessly blend with the taste of dark red fruits. Citrus adds a slightly tangy edge and a balanced contrast.

The palate also has light nuances of wood polish and the distinctive taste of tobacco and pepper and as that gives us a hint of what a well-aged Scotch looks like. I might also be imagining it but there seems to be a subtle maritime saltiness, along with a faint coppery undertone.

Finish: Long, with a gradual fading of flavours - the caramel and tobacco notes slowly diminish, leaving a lingering presence of dry oak and sweet ashiness that gently recede from the palate.


My Thoughts:

The Bowmore 18 is always a delightful dram for me, with its easily-appreciated rich, dense and smooth sweetness.

As the typical Scotch whisky is matured for a long period of time, it often takes on notes of dried fruits such as sultanas and raisins. But Bowmore whiskies “age like no other,” said Daryl the brand rep. He pointed out that older Bowmore expressions tend to exhibit brighter yellow and orange tropical fruits compared to older expressions from the typical Scotch distillery, and that this has something to do with the way Bowmore was distilled and specially aged in very cool cellars below sea level that are very near to the frigid waters of the Islay coast.

I can see Daryl’s point. The 18 Years Old does seem brighter and fresher than one might expect, with the emergence of mild caramelised pineapple notes that aligns with Daryl’s interesting observation on tropical fruit notes.

For its price range and depth, a 7/10 rating is very well-deserved.

My Rating: 7/10


Suggested Dish Pairing: Oyster Luge with Irish and Fukuoka Oysters