Bowmore 21 year 51.5%

Bowmore is one of those distilleries our merry malt group has barely scratched the surface exploring. Naturally, we skipped past all the entry level Bowmore’s and went straight for the mighty 21 year!

Bowmore 21 year 51.5% (1988)

  • Colour – A distinctive ruby red – port cask?
  • Nose – Clear blue cheese or smoke cheese, a medicinal element
  • Taste – Very smooth, enveloped in smokiness, hint of ash and spiciness… a sense of age and richness
  • Finish – Long, strong,  smoky swirls
  • With water – While becomes much more bitter, paradoxically smoother too

As usual, we tasted blind and were delighted to learn we were spot on about the whisky being matured in Port Wood casks. This version of the Bowmore 21 was released in 2009 with 7,200 bottles.

While it had higher alcohol content than initially apparent, our initial reaction a reasonably enjoyable dram to sip and savour when in the mood for something of this character.

Bowmore 21 year


What caught me completely by surprise later is the current price tag… hovering around $400 – 550?

Now… I don’t know about you, but that’s getting into the steep territory and a price point where I demand something pretty exceptional. Though this is certainly a worthy dram, am not convinced it is worth such a price tag.

However it certainly wouldn’t dissuade me from trying more Bowmores… far from it. In fact… I have a Bowmore Laimrig 15 year awaiting its turn to be sniffed, sipped and considered.

In time, it will be interesting to see what Rachel Barrie, Master Blender for Morrison Bowmore has up her sleeve (nose?). “Miss Whisky” has an interesting feature on Ms Barrie who suggests those whisky drinkers who

“love savoury saltiness and smoky barbequed food (with a balanced sweetness), then Bowmore single Islay malt is for you.”

Would the 21 year fit this description? Yup… it would indeed.

The Bowmore was originally blind tasted in April 2014 along with:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

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