The Bowmore distillery, considered one of Beam Suntory’s flagship Scotch whisky making operations, is noted for being the oldest licensed distillery on Islay. It is there, drawn from its famed No. 1 aging warehouse, that it has pulled older whisky to create a new trilogy of bottlings influenced by aging in ex-wine, sherry and port casks.
The new Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy, according to those behind it, consists of whiskies which have been aged in manzanilla sherry, wine, bourbon and Islay malt barrels to showcase a range of complex flavors. They range in years from 18 to 27, and you’ll find more information on each, including official tasting notes, at the end of this article for your consideration.
“The Vintner’s Trilogy is a collection of three liquid gold whiskies which have been meticulously matured over time in our No.1 Vaults,” said Bowmore Distillery Manager David Turner in a prepared statement. “The unique, sea-buffeted atmosphere inside one of the oldest scotch maturation warehouses in the world has created three perfectly balanced whiskies full of flavor, with each whisky offering an individual taste journey through their time maturing in manzanilla sherry, wine, bourbon and Islay malt casks.”
Bowmore 18 Years Old Double Matured Manzanilla: Matured in both ex-bourbon barrels and ex-manzanilla sherry barrels, taking on a rich antique gold color. On the nose, notes of treacle, salted caramel, ripe blackcurrants, soft stone fruits, vanilla fudge and spiced Seville oranges sit alongside subtle hints of menthol and chamomile. These aromas develop into bitter oranges and a burst of peat smoke on the palate to create this refined whisky. Bottled at cask strength (52.5% ABV) and available in the U.S. at a suggested retail price of $127 (750ml).
Bowmore 26 Years Old Wine Matured: Spends the first 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels before a second maturation of 13 years in wine barriques, developing a burnt amber color. Redcurrant jam, camphor oil and cherry pie intermingle with earthy smoke on the nose, developing into spiced oak, tropical fruits such as papaya and mango and a honeyed sweetness with the addition of water. A full-bodied whisky, on the palate the flavors develop into oak spiced smoke and rich dark chocolate with a long finish and a hint of salt typical of Bowmore. Bottled at cask strength (48.7% ABV) and available at a suggested retail price of $540 (750ml).
Bowmore 27 Years Old: Set to be released in fall 2018.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...