We recently had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by Bowmore and Beam Suntory, and got the opportunity to explore some amazing Bowmore expressions from 22 years onwards, including this 30 year old Bowmore.
The spirit had been matured in American oak ex-Bourbon casks and Sherry-seasoned European oak hogsheads, and half of the spirit was also finished in first-fill Spanish oak Oloroso casks for an added oomph. From the looks of it, it's another Sherry-forward expression.
Let's taste it.
Bowmore 30 Years Old, 45.3% ABV
First-fill Oloroso, European Oak Sherry and American Bourbon Casks
Colour: Deep gold.
Nose: Exceptionally well-integrated and unfolds elegantly and gradually. Opens with a syrupy sweetness akin to Port wine, with wood polish, plums and tons of other red fruits. There's a transition to honey baked glazed buns and light fruits, with a notable return of the earlier blood orange notes.
Palate: Expressive yet opens up gradually once again, with all the elegance of an old Scotch. Compared to the earlier ones, this expression presents a bolder and richer texture. Fresh fruit notes of cherries, raspberries, and very ripe pink guava are evident. These are deepened by the richness of Lotus caramel biscuits, toasted hazelnuts, and aromatic wood polish. And despite the intensity of flavour, the sweetness is quite moderate and precise.
Finish: Very long, with a gentle ashiness and aromatic wood. Gradually transforms into notes of orange dark chocolate, concluding with aromatic oak and a hint of spearmint.
We can see how Bowmore's sherry-matured whiskies really shine when they cross the 20-year threshold.
This tastes very precise and intentional, as if each flavour dimension has been carefully adjusted for. It's like a well-coordinated film production where every element is in perfect harmony and at just the right amount. This is masterful in the fruitiness and sweetness, intertwined with an underlying aromatic smokiness. Almost perfect.
If this was bottled closer to cask strength, it would be phenomenal.
My Rating: 9/10
This expression will be made available for purchase in 2024.