I was at an introduction to single malts tasting session where I was faced with a line up of whiskies consisting of Auchentoshan Three Wood, Macallan Gold, Highland Park 12, Bowmore 12 and Laphroaig 10. At that point I was at the starting point of my whisky journey so I was quite excited to get to sample these 5 whiskies. I remember the Bowmore 12 year old and Highland Park 12 year old standing out to me. The rich fruit and peat was much to my liking and it was this flavour profile that stood out to me amongst the others. I was keen to try the rest of the Bowmore range. This 9 year old was a new addition to the range and I like how Bowmore have put an age statement on the bottle instead of giving it a daft name. Another good thing about Bowmore is that they bottle their core range (12, 15 & 18) in miniature too so you can sample the whole range without taking too much of a risk.
Whisky: Bowmore 9 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40% vol.
Nose: Smoke, salt, tropical fruit, sugar, sherry
Taste: Fruit salad, toffee, caramel, salt
Finish: Sugary sweetness and smoke
Summary: I am not sure what to make of Bowmore, the 12 year old showed promise but this 9 year old just didn’t work for me. This is thin and sugary and the more I progressed through the bottle I found the sweetness coming across more strongly and the peat influence tailing off. The nose is interesting and enticing but this fails to deliver. The sweetness is one dimensional, I can pick up a general tropical fruit note but nothing more than that and the peat/coastal influence is present but not really working the sugary sweetness.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
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