Tasting notes: Old Malt Cask Bowmore 2001

Malt Cask ~ Bowmore. Distilled 2001, bottled 2014. Hunter Laing & Company Ltd. Refil Hogshead. 50%abv. 204 bottles.

THis one Hunter Laing

Saturday 7 November 2015. Sunshine & showers. Patchwork blue sky. 1.30 pm in the day. Birds wheeling over Bowmore in the wind from the West.

The bottle comes in a six-sided tube ~ reminiscent of the structure of a wax honeycomb.

Dark olive green, very tasteful; with a gold engraved label on the lid. Dignifiedly imposing. A lion’s head is etched on the label. Saying; we are assured of ourselves, we don’t need to make a loud noise to be heard ~ but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate and reinforce this with a connection to the king of the beasts (as Winston Churchill said… ‘tell them once, tell them twice, tell them three times…..’ )

The whisky is pale, pale, light lemon in colour. I shake the bottle & it fizzes and beads. More lemon-to-green than lemon-to-yellow tint when poured

First nose: Bees, honeycomb (shape of box) salty, sunny. A very fine, narrow band of gold floating on top of the dram.

Very light, fragile, delicate legs. Reminds me of white lace tights….! Fatter teardrops with second shaking of glass.

Salty wood underneath a pier. Sunflowers, round, dusty notes. This is delicate but strong-willed. Need to concentrate on the nose ~ it is not ‘in your face’. This dram is like the reserved cousin at a party. Lemon peel, toast, breakfast time.

Reminds me of a thick woollen rug on a polished wooden floor, in an open room looking over a small, stone slabbed patio area with sun shining on the grass beyond it.

Something comes in from the front right… a line of rolled up dark red velvet, like a door draught excluder lying on the wooden floor. Then, there are salty crystals, something flinty and sharp in a small group following on after. There are hints of something soft and warm. Straw, exotic soft fruit, mango?

The liquid slaps and jostles in the glass when you shake it.

There is a sophisticated nose burn ~ just enough. A slate platform with waxy honeycomb laid out on it. And sun shining down a stone pier. There are layers of aromas.

A waft of liquorice. Something wonderful and exotic, then something deep and earthy and buzzy, like a body of bees working in the hive.

Strong, noisy, loamy. Then, frills and frills of delicate notes drifted in from the left.

Embers of a spent fire on the cold, damp sand. Then, I was reminded of someone polishing the windscreen of his car in his pyjamas…!!

What an amazing nose this dram has. You just need to spend time with it.

Next is redcurrants and something metallic gold. Imagine licking a thin gold wedding band…..! Think of the taste when you lick your finger and your jewellery when trying to remove a ring that is a bit tight.

The flavours remind me of my Father working with bees, and on the farm, tending to sheep in sheds, and there is straw and heat lamps…

The dram opens out again there are sweet floral ribbons streaming over the top, but one’s feet are firmly in mud!

Palate: Honey, sweet happiness. Mild mouthfeel. Warming, tingle on gums above your teeth at the front. A warm drop of honey rolling down into your chest. It’s burnt and woody at the back of the mouth.

Flavours of dusters, boiled sweets. Smells of stables and warm boatsheds (if it is possible to have WARM boatsheds…?)

An oak chest of drawers with an old leather football lying beside it. More dusters and custard. And, parma violets, a metallic ring with honeycomb on wood darkened with the juices of working bees.
Sunset on the back of the tongue ~ shafts of gold and warmth.

The notes and flavours of this dram circle around and around, staying with a similar construction over the journey. It is like music ~ the notes stay the same, they just move up or down an octave!

I didn’t take this dram with water. I prefer a straight dram, with water on the side.


This one of Old Malt Cask