Category Archives: Bowmore

AD Rattray Bowmore 20


Last time we tasted a couple of younger whiskies from the AD Rattray line up – this time we visit an older Bowmore.

AD Rattray Bowmore 20 $120
Cask: Bourbon (#271)
Distilled: February 26, 1990
Bottled: October 27, 2010
No. of Bottles: 235
ABV: 54%

Color: Light gold

Nose: Wafts of peat and seaside brine, a cakey sweetness underneath the peat, none of the red fruit complexity that I tend to get from Bowmore.  This initially seems like straight forward peat but with time it filled out with coastal breeze, spice and sweet notes.

With water: Sweeter with the water, airs out – becomes lighter, more of the bourbon influence becomes present, some citrus.

Palate: Very oily, big peat forward and fading smoke, a bitter tinge in the middle, oak spice, surprisingly light for a 20 year old.  A lot more subtle than expected.

With water:  Becomes more ashy, softens the spices, dusty, drying, earthy, juice-like sweetness.

Finish: Medium with a full flavor profile of peat, ash, spice and sweetness.

A delicate but full flavored older Bowmore, a different dimension from this distillery, almost Caol Ila like with the sweetness and ash, I really enjoyed this one. Great balance of flavors.


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Bowmore at Dusk

Bowmore’s Dusk has been around for some time.  In years past Bowmore has put out more than a few non-age statement releases.  But why not pick a favorite?  And Dusk it is.  Forget the coastal labels, the mystique.  Let it go and imagine a glass (pick your own glass), in my case it is a well-belled snifter with plenty of room for atmosphere.  Gaze upon a darkening amber.  Breath in the dense sugars born of a crucible of peat, earth, and malt-laden goodness.  And yes, there is some salt in the distance.  Not to mention a strong citrus presence.  And with a lush charred note the red fruit flavors give way to a winey peatiness tinged with a medicinal aspect.  There is a lot to chew on and your gums will not lack for activation.  A ruddy spiciness with burnt-but-not-blackened wood.  Appropriately named because the burned-but-not-black notes of earth and grain and reddish fruit are reminiscent of the palate’s equivalent of the end of daylight, warm with a foreboding, darkening wake.  And some heat keeps you company.  Yum.  Find a bottle and oblivion at your own pace. –Nate

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