Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof Review

"The  Sailors of Old Would Approve"

Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Brand: Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
ABV: 57,1 %
Sample Provided By Marlie from The Netherlands. Thanks a Lot!

Colour: Yellow Gold/Amber

Nose: Sweet Malt, light Sherry, light Sulphur, Dried Fruits, Nuts, Wet-Salted Leather, Cigarette Smoke, Old Cigar Box, Dusty Earth, light Rubber, Shell Fish, Charred Oak, Toast, Orange, Roasted Coffee, Vanilla, Toffee, Dried Herbs, Menthol, Straw, Lemon Peel, Sugared Ginger and Peanut Butter. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. 

Palate: The Alcohol is a bit Strong and the Spirit Young and Fiery. I find Sweet Malt, Cigarette Smoke, Ashes, Dried Herbs, Shell Fish, Orange or Mandarin, Lemon, Charred Oak, Licorice, Pepper, Salt, Nutmeg, Ginger, light Sherry, light Sulphur, light Rubber or Plastic and a hint of Brandy.

The Samples provided by Marlie!

Finish: Long, Spicy and Smoky with Sweet Malt, Cigarette Smoke, Ashes, Salt, Lemon, Mandarin or Grapefruit, Straw, Pepper, Ginger, Toffee, Licorice, Oak and hints of Rubber and Brandy. 

With a couple of drops of water the 100 Degrees Proof settles down a bit. Just add a couple of drops at the time until you're fine!

Rating: 86.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks: The Bowmore Distillery was founded in 1779 by John Simpson. It's the oldest Islay distillery, located in Bowmore. Since 1994 it is completely owned by Morrison Bowmore Distilleries, part of the Japanese Suntory Group. The 100 Degrees Proof was launched in 2012 and originally produced for the Travel Retail Market. It's Non Chill-Filtered and bottled at Cask Strength but is surely artificially coloured. It sells at an average 60 US Dollars. The packaging tells us where this Bowmore got its name:

"Around the Time Bowmore was first distilled, the term "Proof Spirit" was born. Sailors of old would check that their Rum rations hadn't been watered down by mixing them with Gun Powder. If the Gun Powder still lit, this "proved" that it was a strong Alcohol or 100 Proof. If it didn't, then the Rum contained too much Water or less than 57% Alcohol. The Sailors used a hydrometer in this process. 100 Proof of Old equals an ABV of 57,1%"

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: A Young, Nervous but Interesting Bowmore. It's Rough, Fiery and Strong, just like the Sailors would have wanted their Rum to be. So it does do justice to its name in my opinion. But at the same time it lacks a bit of Balance. I would have liked to find a bit more Fruit, especially on the Palate and in the Finish. Still, at this price, it's good Value For Money and sufficiently interesting  as a Single Malt. I wouldn't consider this Bowmore as my Daily Dram but it's good enough to try it out if you get the chance!

Jan van den Ende                                                            August 16, 2014

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