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Bowmore Enigma

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Bowmore Enigma

Postby robertk » Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:53 am

Hi!

Yesterday when scrolling through a web page of a tax-free store I stumbled on a spelling... or so I thought. Namely Bowmore Enigma 12yo. So I dropped a mail to friend who passed through that airport yesterday and told him to keep his eyes open. And this morning a pitck-black tube is standing on my table.

I have searched the web (quite thoroughly) and I cannot find information about this one ANYWHERE. A first-timer for me.. so I simply wonder if anyone here knows what's this all about.

A cut & paste from the bottle:

"Bowmore Enigma is an unusual expression of Bowmore, as a greater amount of fresh sherry casks have been used over its twelve years of maturation: this produces a much richer and sweeter style of the classic Bowmore malt whisky."

Sounds promising as I happen to like Darkest quite a bit.

I'll return with tasting notes later tonight :)

regards, Robert
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Postby robertk » Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:55 pm

Well, not all that bad I'd say. Especially not at 31€ for a full liter. Still it did not come close to Darkest nor Laphroaig 15 which was sampled beside it, perhaps a not very fair comparison though!

There was distinct peatiness in the nose, but sweetish tones alongside that. A younger nose (and taste) than the darkest which was more pleasantly lingering, full and enjoyable.

Too bad I didn't have the usual 12yo to compare it with.. I guess I'll have ample time to do that though.. it takes a while to finish off a liter, atleast for me :).

regards, R
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:24 pm

When confronted with the choice at hand when selecting a Bowmore to sip on the other day i opted for the 15 yr old as it was $62cdn (i consider to be a good price for a 15) only $8 more than the 12yr old. The 15's seem to disappear off the shelf quickly and with good reason, its a tasty bargain.
Skip the 12 grap the 15.
Cheers. :wink:
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Postby Admiral » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:16 am

Is the 15yo the "Mariner"?
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Postby robertk » Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:14 am

Jepp, the 15yo is called the Mariner.

regards, R
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:41 am

The only 15yr old other than "The Mariner" that i have seen in that price range in my neck of the woods, was a Dalwhinnie 15 yr old that i haven't tried. Tasting notes suggest a whisky with a big nose with a palate smooth, sweet then peaty driness. Hmmm, sounds like a good head to head challenge.
Whadda ya think R & Admiral ?
Cheers
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Postby Admiral » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:09 am

Dalwhinnie 15yo won a gold medal at the Australian Whisky Convention in 2003.

It's a great dram, but - being a Speysider - it obviously tastes very different to Bowmore.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby robertk » Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:16 pm

Lord_Pfaffin wrote:The only 15yr old other than "The Mariner" that i have seen in that price range in my neck of the woods, was a Dalwhinnie 15 yr old that i haven't tried. Tasting notes suggest a whisky with a big nose with a palate smooth, sweet then peaty driness. Hmmm, sounds like a good head to head challenge.
Whadda ya think R & Admiral ?
Cheers


As the Admiral correctly says these two are hugely different and thus not really comparable. But if we're talking 15-year olds I'd prefer the Laphroaig over the Bowmore any day, and for instance a Bruichladdich or Aberlour over the Dalwhinnie which hasn't impressed my palate overmuch. Thereby not saying it's bad. :)

regards, Robert
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:43 am

Ya know Robert, it sounds like the Laphroaig 15yr old is one of your faves and upon your recommendation i'd love to try it, alas only the 10yr here-abouts. As for the "Laddie" the 10 yr old was a little dear but very nice indeed, the 15 must be dreamy, however a tad expensive if not unavailable. I haven't as yet tasted any Aberlour expressions. The Aberlour a'bundh is about $78cdn and the only other that i have seen is a 10yr old for about $40cdn. What's a poor boy gonna do? (now that Robert got me going with the idea of a finer Islay and breeching the $70 barrier)? The Caol Ila 12yr old for $75cdn of course. OMG, thankyou very much for helping to steer towards that one!! Now i gotta know how much you pay for the Laphroaig 15 ? How would you rate it compared to the Caol Ila 12 ?
Admiral is seldom wrong and very knowing, should have an opinion worth a read on this one?
Any Scotsman would like to know that he spent wisely.
More whisky please, cheers!
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Postby robertk » Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:00 am

Heya. Well, the Laphroaig 15 is a real dream of a dram (that almost rhymed!), but the 10-year old (and especially the CS) is almost better. Atleast if you're after more of a punch in your glass.

Aberlour a'bunadh is an extreme sherry bomb, very popular for many but perhaps too much for me. Still definitely a must-try, and it doesn't sound too expensive over there. The 10yo Aberlour has fooled me, in a positive manner, several times in blind tastings and it probably is one of the most price-worthy whiskies around, imho.

Over here the Laphroaig 15 is much more expensive than Caol Ila 12. Tastewise, hm, well, the Laphroaig is heavier I suppose. Haven't really had them side-by-side. Both are definitely high quality drams though and certainly worth a corner on your whisky shelf ;).

I usually order my whisky from http://www.royalmilewhiskies.com or http://www.weinquelle.com or similar, so check there for "our" prices!

regards, Robert
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Postby Admiral » Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:03 am

If I had to rank various 15 year olds according to my opinions on them, it would look something like this:

1. Laphroaig 15
2. Glenfarclas 15
3. Bowmore Mariner
4. Macallan 15yo (Hard to find these days)
5. Longmorn 15
6. Dalwhinnie 15
7. Aberlour 15
8. Glendronach 15
9. Glenfiddich 15 (Solera Reserve)

Dalwhinnie is a great dram, and I do enjoy it, so just because it appears towards the bottom doesn't mean it's not worth purchasing. However, the others above it - to my tastebuds at least - are superior.

The Laphroaig 15 is, quite simply, an absolutely sensational dram. It doesn't have the same bonfire burning away that the 10yo has, but it has a beautiful, rich, sweetness to it. I assumed previously that this was due to sherry, although Tom has advised on another thread recently that it apparently has no sherry in the vatting.

My most recent tasting notes for the 15yo Laphroaig were as follows:

Tasted: 15th November, 2004

Colour: Rich, old gold.

Nose: Buring leaves again. (I was evaluating this having just finished on the Laphroaig 10yo) Burnt creme-brulee. Cherry ripe chocolate.

Palate: Marshmallows & chocolate. A tiny hint of ginger. Sherry is evident, and deliciously so. Cereal flavours also prevail. (Boy, that sherry comment looks silly now, doesn't it? Still, I was on a tasting panel with four other very experienced palates, and we all thought the sherry was there!)

Finish: The sweetness lingers like a spicy port.

Comments: More refined, gentle, and better behaved than its younger brother, and certainly sweeter.

Score: 8.2 (I had scored the Laphroaig 10 at 7.8 about 10 minutes earlier!)

The Caol Ila 12 year old is a more straight-up-the-middle-of-the-road affair. Not nearly as sweet, but a nice peaty dram with adequate smoke, and a good malty base. Not quite as complex either, but - by the same token - it's not disappointing.

The Aberlour A'bunadh is an absolutely delicious whisky. If you like heavily sherried, rich sweet malts, then this will fit the bill very nicely. It goes deliciously with desserts too. It does cost a bit more, but it has a higher alcohol concentration (up around the high 50's, or even 60%?) so the cost is justified, IMHO. Actually, forget the proof, the taste alone justifies the extra cost.

Happy dramming!
Admiral
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Postby Lord_Pfaffin » Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:16 am

Admiral:
Thankyou for the compass to steer by. I can't wait to try the Laphroaig 15 if its that much nicer than the C.I., it must be absolutely heavenly.
Ardaíonn ár ngrá muid féin níos airde de shior !
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