Thanks to /u/catharticintent for this sample
Turns out I had quite a few samples of Bowmore. My stores are now so full I can’t fit any Bow-More of them. Thus that’s what I’m calling this string of reviews.
When talking about whisky, there are different groups of people. There’s the group that believes adding anything to whisky is an affront to all the world should hold sacred. And then there’s a group that believes you should always add water to all whiskies.
As someone who went from the first group to the second, it’s impressive when you find a whisky that really, really loves water. Takes to it really well and opens up into an amazing whisky.
However, there’s always that one whisky that doesn’t help. Bowmore 19 1997 Adelphi (cask 2411) reminds me that water doesn’t always help, and sometimes whisky is good by itself.
So let’s get to this Bowmore, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Distillation Date: 1997
Bottling Date: 2017
Total amount of bottles: 545 bottles
Colour: 7.5YR 4/6
Nose: Nutella, croissant, being at the beach on a windy day, a charcoal BBQ, orange chicken
Initial chocolate, nutty, and buttery elements. Once that subsides (and you stop feeling bad for buying palm oil stuff because you love orangutans), there’s this big, soft blast of salty air. Immediately I’m at the beach, which is odd as I was in my living room and not dressed for the beach.
Eventually, there’s some charcoal, molasses, and even some orange. Water… doesn’t bring out anything. Sadly.
Taste: Salted caramel, churros, orange zest, hazelnut, smokey apples
Lots of salted caramel, churros, and some of the orange from before, as well as the hazelnut. There’s smoke, but it’s so tied to the apple flavour it’s impossible to separate.
Wait, there’s such a thing as applewood, why would I write smoked apples? Let’s move on.
Finish: Tiger Tail ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbs, pecans, cinnamon raisin bread, caramel, smoke pork, yeast
Big finish. Creamy, lightly chocolate, nutty, more molasses, meaty… it goes on and on. The water brings out yeast, which is the one odd point here.
Conclusion: Water doesn’t help. It’s a big custard waiting to be eaten that smells of a ton of salt. There are buttery, eggy flavours throughout. It’s sweet, orange filled (in a good way), nutty. Really this is a dessert dram for just about everyone.
Nothing beats the nose on this. Yet water dumbs it down too much. it’s one of the few whiskies I’ll say doesn’t need water, as it’s already good.
Scotch review #961, Islay review #259, Whisky Network review #1514