Bowmore Travel Trilogy – Black Rock, Gold Reef, White Sands

As Whisky Ladies, we enjoy celebrating the contributions of whisky women to the industry.

Rachel Barrie has a career that started with the Glenmorangie team, gaining experience to become a whisky creator and master blender for The Glenmorangie, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Moet Hennessy (LVMH) before joining Morrison Bowmore Distillers, Beam Suntory in 2011. As Master Blender, she described “Islay is my escape. There’s part of me that’s a free spirit and very elemental.”

As Whisky Ladies, we thought it rather apt to have a session featuring whiskies where a professional Whisky woman was involved!

So we set about early 2016 to collectively acquire a ‘travel trilogy’ from Bowmore with:

For once, it was surprisingly easy to buy… the trick turned out to be finding an evening when all three ladies who purchased the bottles were `free on the same night!

This finally happened in April 2017… by which time Rachel Barrie had changed jobs and joined BenRiach and Glendronach Distillery Company as Whisky Maker.

Didn’t matter to us – we toasted her in spirit anyways!

Other Bowmore‘s tasted over the years include:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Whisky Ladies with Bowmore Black Rock 40%

The Whisky Ladies ‘contributors choice session‘ followed the GlenDronach with one of master blender Rachel Barrie‘s Bowmore travel trilogy.

This whisky was acquired some time ago by one of our whisky ladies who shared how much she enjoys Bowmore’s approach to bringing together peat and sherry sweet to create a consistent Islay treat.

Black Rock specifically is named for the Black Rock of Islay that can be seen from the Bowmore distillery rising out of Loch Indaal.


What did the ladies think?

  • Nose – Initially sour curd, warm and wintry, intense and then closed, light peat, the strong sour cherry, raisins spice toasted nuts
  • Palate – Well… clearly into 40% territory here… however once we got past the ‘watered down’ dimension enjoyed the smoky, cherry and other tight dried berries, sweet dry spices
  • Finish – Much fainter than expected – just a touch of sweetness, smoke and spice

In our glass comparison, the Norlan was able to pull out more from the Bowmore – giving it a richer, sweeter quality. Whereas the Glencairn exposed more of the ‘watered down’ 40% dimension.

And what do the folks over at Bowmore have to say?

  • Breathe In: smoke infused with raisins, pepper, warm cocoa beans and burnt orange
  • Sip: rich sherry and peat smoke followed by blackcurrant treacle toffee and cinnamon spice
  • Savour: beautifully balanced peat smoke and sea salt

Whisky ladies experimental evening also featured:

For more related updates and activities, check out:

Whisky Ladies experiment with Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore and a surprise

Quite a few of our Whisky Ladies were off traversing the globe in October and November. Which meant our American Adventures in October was sparsely attended and our November session felt like long lost friends getting together for a much overdue reunion!

Thanks to one whisky lady’s ‘prezzies’ from Canada was an opportunity to compare the difference between tasting whisky in the industry standard Glencairn glass vs the novel engineered Norlan glass.

It also meant we had an interesting assortment for our ‘contributors choice’ evening… where the only planning that went into deciding which whisky to sample was someone putting up their hand going “Me! Me! I have something to share!”

Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore, Hampden

And what did we try?

Check out the links above to find out what we thought of each spirit plus our ‘expose’ on whisky tasting in Glencairn vs Norlan glasses.

For more related updates and activities, check out: