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Bowmore 17yo

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Related whiskies : Bowmore 17 Years Old

Bowmore 17yo

Postby Admiral » Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:38 pm

After trying just about every other expression of Bowmore, I finally purchased and cracked open a bottle of the 17yo OB tonight for the first time.

My initial impression was that this didn't seem to be as complex, balanced, or as good as the 12yo.

Not that it was by any means a poor whisky. In fact, it was good! I've noticed several people here have expressed various opinions as to whether they think the 12yo or 17yo is the better dram, but based on tonight, I think I prefer the 12yo.

However - as several here have pointed out in recent times - you really need to visit a malt several times over a period of time to really explore it and let it hit you from every angle. I shall taste this a few more times over the coming weeks and report my conclusions!

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby bond » Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:46 pm

Also, Admiral if you do have multiple bottles of the 12 YO lying around, you could check if there has been a detrioration in the 12 YO of late.

In the last few bottles that I have had, I certainly observe a greater coastal influence on the finish. I did not get such pronounced traces of salt earlier.

Slainte
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Postby BruceCrichton » Thu Nov 11, 2004 7:21 pm

I'm surprised that you prefer the 12 to the 17.

I find that, outwith the specially finished Bowmores, the best (that I can afford) are the Legend and the 17. The Legend is more or less fully bourbon casked while the 17 gives you the taste of a nice thick roast beef sandwich. The 12 always gives me the taste of being neither one thing nor another.
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Postby Frodo » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:50 pm

One quick question:

Can anyone say how the 17yr OB compares to the 15yr OB? I've only had the 15yr and really good it was too :) . In one of Dave Broom's books howvever, he said the 17yr is "the one to get". Are they really that different?

Curious Frodo
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Postby bamber » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:51 pm

I also prefer the 12 to the 17. Out of Legend, Darkest, 12, 17 and Mariner, Mariner is my favourite, with 12 a close second.

I have a bottle of Voyage unopened - looking forward to that one.
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Postby bamber » Thu Nov 11, 2004 9:52 pm

Frodo wrote:One quick question:

Can anyone say how the 17yr OB compares to the 15yr OB? I've only had the 15yr and really good it was too :) . In one of Dave Broom's books howvever, he said the 17yr is "the one to get". Are they really that different?

Curious Frodo


The 15 (Mariner) is more intense.
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Postby Frodo » Thu Nov 11, 2004 10:08 pm

Thanks. I don't think I'd want the change. Intense suits me just fine :wink: .
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Bowmore Cask Strength?

Postby islayjunkie » Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:01 am

Has anyone tried the Bowmore Cask Strength? It just showed up here.
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Postby lucabeer » Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:52 am

The Cask Strength is not bad at all.

Nose: Intense, salty, pungent

Palate: Intense, with saltiness, sherry sweetness and a moderate amount of peat. Burnt sugar.

Finish: Quite long and burning.

Not bad at all, definitely better than the 12yo (less nauseating and perfumy/seaweedy). Not a lot of character, or anything that stands out, but a robust and enjoyable whisky. Not elegant or refined. A bit too expensive for a whisky which is probably quite young.


I scored it 8 on 10.
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Postby Tom » Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:05 pm

im currently trying the various bowmore's, i tried the legends, mariner, cask strength, voyage, and dusk, i buyed a botlle of darkest since i saw Hpulley all over the forums raving about it and wanted to know what the fuzz is about :) havent opened that one yet, so far the Cask strength is most to my liking, but so far its also the most "normal" dram i had from bowmore, its a very weird brand and i really cant compare it with anything else. closely second comes Voyage wich i think is very very special, actually a unique taste. the mariner i didnt like at all, dont know why.i'll let u know how the darkest is, from what i heard it should beat everything else.
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Postby hpulley » Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:14 pm

I like the latest Darkest I opened but I still think a bottle I had years ago was better. Do let us know what you think!

Harry
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Postby Admiral » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:38 pm

I'm halfway through a bottle of Darkest that I opened last March.

It's very out of balance - the sherry just doesn't sit comfortably with the malt, and - in truth - it's a bit spirity. I don't think the darkness is entirely natural either, if you know what I mean :wink:

Admiral
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Postby hpulley » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:42 pm

Most redheads aren't natural you know, Admiral ;) Lots of 'dye' in this one for sure.

I've owned three bottles of Darkest and I've tasted others. The first one I owned was great, the second was terrible and this one is OK. Probably won't buy any more...

Harry
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Postby Tom » Tue Nov 16, 2004 10:51 pm

allright, i just opened it. having my first glass as i type, so this is just the first impression, i will retaste it next week, possibly after a light dram first (my perfect way to score a whisky is as second, the first one is to warm up)
well the nose is very good, by far the best nose on any bowmore, sherry is very obvious and strong, yet not sweet. wich promises a bitter-ish taste as is so common in bowmore (and caramel...) nice balance between oak and malt under the sherry. dont remember any bowmore with such a profound oak nose, i like that. if sniffed deeply the leafy notes emerge and again promise the bitter taste.nevertheless very good nose. (22)
although indeed the best bowmore so far, the nose promises much more then the taste gives. the sherry is alot thinner then you'd expect, and is indeed not as sweet as promised. but its still the dominant taste, the peat is only light to medium, mellow and soft taste over all, leafy notes are weak,the typical bowmore/mint/seaweed is there as usual but in the background and in good balance with the sherry for wich im very gratefull. (21)
The finish is long with now the typical bowmore finish and obvious hints of caramel. all by all the sherry is fighting the bitter leafy/minty/perfumy notes in opposite sides. it has decent balance but too bad the bitter stuff just had to come back. (20)
Overall is think the balance is good, better then everything i had from bowmore and it has good complexity without having to go to extremes (like voyage), too bad the sherry is litlle thin and not as sweet as i expected, i wonder what this would give on cask strength! (22)
overall rating for today : 85, wich is best bowmore so far. depending on how the sherry opens in the bottle might win or lose 1 or 2 points.
all by all thanks harry for the advice, i like it.
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Postby hpulley » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:04 am

Glad you like it (my favorite Bowmore too) and hopefully your bottle will improve with time after opening, like mine has.

Slainte mhath!

Harry
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Postby Aidan » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:39 am

I much prefer the 17 yr old to the 12. I actually don't really like the 12 now. Great value if I did, though.

Idon't find teh12 rich- it's kind of watery, or something.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:45 am

Over the weekend, I actually had the opportunity to do a direct
A-B taste-off between the 12yo and 17yo.

In truth, trying to find a winner was a tough call.

The 17yo had a more interesting nose, but the 12yo had a more complex palate. Perhaps the extra years in the wood had flattened out the 17yo's flavour profile.

Both had beautiful finishes.

In a score out of 10, I would separate them by no more than 0.1. (Perhaps 8.1 for the 12yo and 8.0 for the 17yo).

Needless to say, they're both fantastic drams.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:35 pm

For me it is a bit of both. I like Bowmore 17Y old very much, I mean it's on its peak of maturity. However the 21Y old Bowmore is great aswell. I allways have difficulty to make a choice between them, so I'll take both.... It saves me a lot of trouble.

Cheers,

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Postby islayjunkie » Sat Nov 20, 2004 9:09 am

I believe I had a bad bottle of Bowmore 12yo... the floral notes were so over powering it tasted like bubble gum. I did finish the bottle but it wasn't easy. Since then I have shyed away from Bowmore until I saw a bottle of Cask Strength and tried it.

Not bad at all! It was worth the money. There is a slight trace of the floral which has more citrus overtones than bubble gum and adds to the character of the whisky instead of killing it.

Overall this is a nice balanced mix of smoke, malt, oak, sea salt with a touch of peat. I would catagorize this malt as a good example of Islay. There was not much that stood out like peat, spice, or anything complex. A bit sweet for my tastes but still good. If it had more peat and was a little less sweet I'd be buy a case tomorrow. For a cask strength this is the smoothest I've had.

Thanks for the review on Bowmore 17yo. I'll grab a bottle next week. I may take a gamble and try "darkest" which I've heard has been very inconsistent... or maybe I'll stock up on a couple bottles of the Cask Strength to be safe ;)
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Nov 20, 2004 6:15 pm

I've also experienced the floral notes in the Bowmore 12 in the last few years, it's very odd.
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Postby Admiral » Sun Nov 21, 2004 12:24 am

I've found Bowmore has always had a floral edge to it - I believe it's quite an appealing house style. Interestingly, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch share that same floral nature, and they're all under the same ownership.

It's true that some Bowmores in recent years have had quite an excessively floral nose - and yes, many have faulted it. The guys over at PLOWED coined their own quaint term for it, "FWP". F stands for French, the P stands for Perfume, and I'll let you guess what the "W" stands for! :wink:

Many find it overbearing, others just accept it as an overly-floral Islay malt! The annoying thing is that it is inconsistent - it seems to be there in various batches across the Bowmore profile of bottlings for a while, and then it suddenly isn't. A few Bowmore connoisseurs noted that the FWP disappeared when the bottlings went from being direct-bottle printed to the paper labels.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Dan G » Sun Nov 21, 2004 6:40 am

Just bought a bottle of this tonight and finished my first glass. New to whisky, it is my first Bowmore.

After the nose of mild sea air, honey and faint roses and the first impression on the palate being somewhat sweet that it quickly became intensely salty and peaty, followed by caramel and with a peppery finish.

I like this one quite a bit.
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Postby Tom » Sun Nov 21, 2004 1:16 pm

yesterday we drove 2h to a glenfarclas tasting, and guess what, i had my first truly good bowmore there.
hows that for irony huh. this is the first bowmore i EVER had without the perfumy/floral notes. and this dram was good, it was botlled on cask strength (about 58%) for a couple of guys that bought a cask so no need looking for it. but it had nothing in common with the present "housestyle" of bowmore. actually some so called connaiseurs there told me that taste is the bowmore of old days (60's-70's). whatever it was, for christ sake if they actually CAN make bowmore this good, then why dont they????
i dont find the same notes in Auchentoshan however, got a botlle here and just tryed it.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 21, 2004 2:28 pm

What I like about Bowmore, is the sherry sweetness combined with the typical Islay smokiness. And the further you go by age, the less smokier it gets and the more mellow richnes you'll get from the sherry casks. The Bowmore Legend, Surf, 12Y old and Mriner are nice drams to start with and later at night a 17Y old and a 21Y old will do just fine. However I can imagine around eleven in the evening that a 25Y old or perhaps 30Y old Bowmore or even older are just the ideal nightcaps.

I remembered once a summer night and it was about ten o clock, I just poored myself a Bowmore 21Y old and that lasted until bedtime, wich was past midnight. Now what more can you wish for?

In general I like Bowmore and it's sometimes nice to have dram of that stuff. Although there some independent expressions from Bowmore and I must admit that not every expression is a good one, the ones I like are Signatory, Hart Brothers and from time to time a Blackadder.


Cheers,

Erik
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Postby Lawrence » Sun Nov 21, 2004 5:27 pm

The current Bowmore 25 year old is very good, it is one of my favourite OB drams.

The balance of sherry sweetness and smoke is very compelling.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Nov 21, 2004 5:51 pm

I agree with you Lawrence, the current 25Y old is a fine dram. I remember that I tasted it for the first time in Denmark, februari last year. Jimmy Robertson gave me a sneak previeuw on this one and I was very surprised about this edition. He told me that this 25Y old was the replacement on the ceramic edition and the new 25 got the new "label" policy. The balance between sherry and smokiness is exactly right for my palate. I like the finish aswell, it's not too short but nice light warming with a sweetness in tha back.
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