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 29-year-old Bowmore.
This will be the latest release of the Bowmore Timeless Series, which celebrates the distillery's long legacy with older and higher ABV expressions. The bottles come in an hour glass-shaped box and even includes a mini hour glass which is perhaps intended for you to measure how long you take to finish your dram.
The spirit had been matured in a combination of European oak Sherry-seasoned casks and American oak ex-Bourbon casks filled in 1991 and 1992.
Let's taste it.
Bowmore Timeless 29 Years Old, 53.7% ABV – Review
European Oak Sherry and American Bourbon Casks
Colour: Rusty red.
Nose: Indulgent and really sweet, resembling Cognac more so than Scotch. It's laden with dark fruits like dark cherries and wine grapes, along with the rich sweetness of sticky date pudding. There's a hint of toasted oak and cacao nibs, adding depth, and a mild herbaceous quality with notes of rosemary.
Palate: The texture is lovely, thick and layered, offering rich flavours but fairly moderate sweetness. There’s prominent notes of wood polish and Kyoho grapes, along with generous baking spices from the European oak, which are very distinct yet not overpowering. A mild espresso note pairs with a very light salinity.
Finish: Relatively clean and short, characterised by spearmint and a slight nasal rush. There’s a sweet ashiness – a little bit like honeyed charsiu pork, followed by a lingering trail of spice and warmth at the back.
What’s notable about Bowmore (at least with the Original Bottlings) is that it stands out for its bright and playful flavours even for whiskies aged 25 years and above. It doesn’t possess the austerity often found in other very old whiskies, which tend to be dominated by a strong wood influence. Smokiness also dissipates as it ages, and sweet stewed fruits begin to dominate.
This whisky is complex and flavourful, with well-integrated Oloroso sherry and European oak influences. It’s bold enough for cask strength enthusiasts, particularly those who enjoy Sherry-matured whiskies. I also love that the spices add to the enjoyment without being overwhelming. Adding a few drops of spring water brings out even more sweetness and chocolatey notes.
The brand rep did caution the drinks that it is a little bit peppery and spicy, but I don’t think long-time whisky aficionados will find this to be a problem at all.
My Rating: 8/10
For those eager to own a piece of this legacy, all the whiskies we’ve tasted will be made available for purchase in 2024.