Friday, October 23, 2009

Bowmore Scotch

The family is all out engaged in their own activities tonight. The wife thoughtfully left dinner prepared for me before she ran out. (She is a sweet heart, the love of my life and much more than I deserve) After dinner, I spent a few minutes looking for a map I had made for the next adventure with the intent of refreshing my memory and adding a couple of notes. Due to the sorry state of my DM 'bag', I instead spent a half hour cleaning up and organizing same. As a reward for my good behavior I decided to put on some music and have a beer or perhaps a glass of wine. Unable to come to a decision between the two, the chill in the air from the brisk autumn night instead propelled me to reach for the liquor cabinet. So here I sit, sipping a glass of Bowmore 12 year Islay single malt Scotch whisky, neat. In the background plays JJ Cale & Eric Clapton Escondido. The first point I will make is - life does not suck. I will not bore you with the extraneous details of the clarity of the sound from my stereo or the comfort of the leather couch. As you can guess from the title of the blog, this is about the Scotch. First I will say that I am hard pressed to find a 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky that does not have some redeeming quality. This Islay has a nice peat smokiness, and it would be perfect for sitting in front of the fireplace - even better if you have a peat/turf fire glowing warmly therein. Although I do not have any handy to try, this would go nicely with some smoke meat or cheese. There is nothing overwhelming about this whisky, it is nicely balanced with a long smooth and subtle finish. According to the tasting notes, I should be finding subtle notes of lemon and honey with the trademark smokiness in the nose. I do not - I get the smokiness but instead of the pleasant lemon and honey there is a trace of mustiness which is far less pleasant. After a few sips I can finally taste the suggested faint dark chocolate amongst the peat smoke. All palates are different, and instead I come away with a nice almost butterscotch hint with the smokiness. I give it a thumbs up. Not my favorite single malt by any stretch, but if you find it on sale, do not be afraid to purchase it. I think the Cale & Clapton helped too. Cheers!


  1. Coincidentally, I received a bottle of Bowmore Legend from a former employee of mine a few weeks ago. I cracked it open a few days later, and enjoyed it quite a bit. While it's a "non-age-labeled" scotch, which might make some nervous, I don't mind it at all - I believe other special labels such as Dalmore Cigar Malt and Jura Superstition are likewise special single malts of similar ageless branding. Never had a problem with any of those.

    True, the Legend isn't quite on par with my Macallen 18, and I'd rate my Highland Park 12 higher up, but I do think it sits very well against my Jura and Arran 10's.

    Goddamn, I could talk about Scotch all day long.

    Tipping my glass to you this evening, sir!

  2. Talking about Scotch is thisty work. :) So many brands, so little time. I remember a business trip to Singpore where we came across a 'Scotch Bar' at Clark's Quay - 200+ different single malts on the menu! Words fail me.

  3. You wrote that well enough that I'm now itching for a glass myself. And I don't even drink Scotch.

    Hmm... map... (wonders aloud what plans our DM has in store next).

  4. I can't seem to get off the Balvenie Doublewood for the most part. I'll check this one out though!

  5. @Brian - Scotch is a vice better suited to those who do not have small children to feed. Don't tell you wife I am a gateway to vices. Heh. btw - your DM has misery, humiliation, destruction and death in store next - though not necessarily in that order if it matters.

    @ze bullete - I like to try different single malts, so I do not usually have the same kind at home and of course it takes awhile before they are empty. I'll give Balvenie Doublewood a try next time I am ordering scotch after dinner in place of dessert.

  6. Balvenie Doublewood is excellent. I've got a bottle of 15-year, but the 12-year Doublewood is, I think, a smoother and more drinkable spirit. Not that there's anything wrong with the 15, but I do think the 12 is in general a more generally palatable bottling.

    One of my personal favorites, which I have yet to acquire in bottle form, is Langavulin 16-year. If I'm at a nice establishment that happens to carry it on their scotch list, I always try to grab one. Smoky but very palatable.

  7. Lagavulin is another Islay right? Do all the Islays have a strong smokey taste?

    I have trouble remembering all the various glenthisorthats I have tried at bars over the years. I can comment on a few though. The Speysides are common out there and I have had various Macallen, Glennfiddich, and Glenlivet over the years and though fine whisky all, I find I prefer many others over them. Same with Glenmorangie, a Highland malt. Cragganmore, a less popular speyside, is one I like when available though I have not managed to buy a bottle yet.

    A couple of years ago my son gifted me some Glenrothes, a very smooth Speyside. I found it almost too smooth, I would have pegged it for a blend if I was not holding the bottle. A very subtle malt that one.

    The only other Scotch I have at home right now besides the Bowmore is a bottle of Old Pulteney 17 year, a Highland malt. Maybe I will blog about that one later on.

    I do not intend my libation blogs to be about the 'best' of anything. I am a firm believer of the differences in palates. I also have no illusions about my ability as a taster. Heh. Just sharing one gnome's view of the bottle as it were. Glad to have you all sharing back.

  8. Speaking of libation posts, for some reason I can't post a comment to your latest Winter Warmer article. I click on "comments and it gives me a link to:

    As if the article doesn't have a separate page/URL. Very weird.

    And, btw, Harpoon Winter Warmer is my preferred winter beer.

  9. try again if you like. I reposted and it seems to work now.


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