Brand: Bowmore 1996 Sherry Finish
Selected by and Bottled for Wilson & Morgan, Edinburgh
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 16 Years
ABV: 56.6 %
Colour: Dark Gold/Copper/Hint of Orange
Nose: Give this Bowmore sufficient time in the glass to breathe. At least half an hour or so. There's quite some Alcohol. Work your way around it and you will find elegant Sherry notes, subtle Peat and Smoke, Red Fruit, Orange Liqueur, Pineapple Marmalade, Green Apples, Salt, Oak, Cinnamon, Cardamom, gentle Maritime notes, Honey, Hay, Almonds, Leather and hints of Espresso, BBQ and Balsamic Vinegar. There are many aromas to be discovered here. I do believe however that a slightly lower ABV of around 50% would have benefited this Bowmore. The Alcohol is a bit too present.
Palate: Quite different from your average standard Bowmore bottlings. It's quite Spicy actually with Pepper, Salt, Cardamom and Nutmeg. But Creamy at the same time with juicy Peat, Honey, Sherry, Charred Wood, Marzipan, Nuts, Orange Zest, Lemon, Green Apples, Tobacco, Herbs, Leather and Menthol.
Finish: Middle Long and basically Dry with Red Fruit, gentle Peat and Smoke, Malt, Honey, Nuts, Vanilla, Pepper, Salt, Green Apples, light Maritime notes, Cigar Ash and Menthol.
I added a couple of drops of water. On the Nose the Red Fruit, Orange and Honey are stronger. More Cardamom, Pepper, Menthol and Licorice on the Palate. You should try this out both with - and without Water.
Nose: 22 - Taste: 22.5 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22
General Remarks: The Wilson & Morgan Company is an Independent Bottler, based in Italy. Owners are the Rossi family that started importing Blends in the sixties. Single Malt Selection was added in the 1980's and in 1992 Wilson & Morgan was founded by Fabio Rossi to attend the high end Single Malt market. At various distilleries, W&M selects barrels for their Barrel Selection series. Most of the casks mature at the distillery itself. The Bowmore I'm tasting today was distilled in 1996 and bottled in 2012. It matured in Ex-Sherry Butt # 960004. No artificial colouring was added and the Whisky is not Chill-Filtered. It sells at around 100 US Dollars.
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.
Drinking Experience Neat: Very Good
Conclusion: This is a very nicely balanced Bowmore. You won't find a lot of Tea, Flowers, Soap and young Peat like in the younger standard Distillery bottlings. The Nose is elegant and subtle and on the palate the balance between Spicy and Creamy is very well done. Excellent Cask Selection by Wilson & Morgan. This Bowmore could have scored even higher if it would have been bottled at a slightly lower ABV of around 50%. Because in my opinion the Alcohol is not quite in balance with the other Aromas and Flavours. But other than that, this is a Single Malt I can fully recommend.