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Standard Bowmore releases seem to get no love from the whisky connoisseur community. Sure, older bottlings from the 1960s and 1970s are sought after, as are Bowmore offerings from Independent Bottlers (Samaroli comes to mind), but the humble OB Bowmores are under-appreciated in this writer's humble opinion. With that in mind, here are my notes from my latest bottle of the standard 12 year old from Islay's oldest distillery.
Neat from a Canadian Glencairn
- Nose: gentle wood smoke, citrus (lemons and orange), vanilla, a bit of cinnamon.
- Palate: light bodied, yet there's still a touch of oiliness, sugar cookies with vanilla-lemon frosting, orange zest, a bit of brine, and a faint maritime flavour (iodine? seaweed?).
- Finish: darker and slightly longer than I expected, damp oak, green olives, freshly ground coffee beans, road tar, vanilla and shortbread lingers.
I have to say, this is more interesting than I expected from an inexpensive malt bottled at the minimum legal abv. At the risk of sounding snobby, I think this would go from "interesting" to "remarkable" if it were bottled at, say, 48% abv or so.