A friend of mine had a bottle of Bowmore 18 that he liked a lot. I liked it too, and I'm not a huge Bowmore fan. Last summer he got their 17. Didn't like it. Me neither, but I probably liked it better than he did.
At some point, it was down to 1/4 of a bottle. I had a bottle that was lower than that, that I didn't need anymore, so I offered it in trade. I figured maybe I'd use it as an object lesson in interesting whisky, at a tasting.
Well, five months later, that hadn't happened, so I said, screw it, I'll just drink it. I need the cabinet space. I poured a wee dram. I brought it to my nose, and... it was good. Smoky, a bit flowery and maybe fruity, but it was complex and I like the smoke. I put it to my mouth and... bleagh! perfumed soap! Wow, how did it get so bad?! I'm certain it was not like that before. Did it oxidize? I've only had one whisky that was clearly oxidized, and it certainly wasn't FWP, like this one. And that perfumed soap won't leave my tongue.
So then I got out another bottle that I've been contemplating draining. McClelland's Islay, which is young Bowmore. I got it two and a half years ago (I don't remember why) and at the time, it tasted exactly like Bowmore Islay. So what did it taste like this time, being only 1/4 full for a couple of years? Pretty much like I remembered it. Herbal, vegetal. Hmm, maybe there's a hint of the perfumed soap after the finish... no, I think that's leftover from the previous dram.
Man, was that horrible. How did that happen?