Bowmore Travel Trilogy – 17 year White Sands 43%

Last in our Bowmore travel trilogy was the 17 year “White Sands.”

I’d picked this bottle up in Singapore duty free back when it was 1st launched. It was one of my “speed date” sample that lead to a clear “buy” decision! And since then I’ve been patiently waiting to open the bottle with our Whisky Ladies.

Bowmore 17 year White Sands 43%

  • Nose – Rich vanilla, citrus orange, honey almonds, very floral, raspberry treacle, light peat smoke, chocolate coffee then cotton candy
  • Palate – Spices, light creamy toffee, cloves, quite a delicious curl of peat, nice and chewy without being heavy, smooth as silk
  • Finish – A long lingering sweet spice with a bitter cinnamon tail

And what did the Whisky Ladies really think?? We LOVED it!

We found it was one of those whiskies that says – “Pull up a nice comfy chair, curl up and pay attention to me. Trust me, you absolutely will not regret!”

There is something quite sophisticated about this whisky. One mentioned ballgowns and tuxedos about to take a twirl on the dance floor…. that spins into a seduction!

For others it was just nice to settle down with an amiable whisky with multiple dimensions. The nose especially has such a lovely range of aromas, it is delicious to sip and savour, with a surprisingly long finish. In short – ticks the right boxes!

Here is what the Bowmore folks have to say about this whisky:

“Inspired by Islay’s pristine white beaches.”

Islay’s coast line boasts seven miles of pristine white beaches and has been the inspiration for White Sands. Matured for seventeen long years, this is Bowmore Master Distiller’s personal favourite. Matured in the finest ex Bourbon casks, the treacle toffee and ripe exotic fruits bound together by warm peat smoke.

  • Nose: Light peat smoke, rich treacle toffee and ripe exotic fruits
  • Taste: Creamy toffee and malty sweetness, together with a delicious warm smokiness
  • Finish: The incredibly smooth, warm and comforting finish

In this case, we would agree with the tasting notes… and of the three whiskies, there was zero doubt which was our favourite! In terms of the three, Black Rock is the most readily available. While not a bad whisky, it unfortunately is outclassed by the other two. Gold Reef may be slightly more challenging to find. And White Sands? Excellent value for a beautifully balanced whisky with enough character to keep you well engaged! It is certainly one to recommend to those who enjoy their whisky with a bit of smoky sweetness.

So while it was long after the initial launch, it was still fun to explore the Bowmore ‘travel trilogy‘:

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Bowmore Travel Trilogy – Gold Reef 43%

Next up in our Bowmore travel trilogy was another NAS – Gold Reef.

This particular bottle was acquired on my partner‘s trip to Beirut, Lebanon on behalf of our host – a fellow theatre actor. Since last year we have impatiently waited for an opportunity to bring our trilogy together…

And what did the Whisky Ladies think?

Bowmore Gold Reef 43%

  • Nose – Treacle, apple, summery caramel, toasted coconut, marzipan, with tropical fruits. As it opened, particularly after sipping, a delicious maple syrup joined some peat with sweet vanilla and hint of spice
  • Palate – Peat, citrus, heat, bitter chocolate, a bit of dry wood
  • Finish – The heat opens up revealing honey sweet, cinnamon then after a few more sips settles into a bitter finish

We found it very inviting on the nose, the palate was such a contrast – in a good way. The finish remains.

Here is what the Bowmore folks have to say about this whisky:

“Inspired By The Sun’s Reflection On Islay’s Coral Seabed.”

Further out to sea and deep beneath the waves lies Gold Reef. Named for the way the glow of the sun’s rays reflect off the coral seabed, this same old catches the eye inside every bottle of Gold Reef. Predominately matured in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks, it rewards with notes of smooth vanilla, citrus fruits and sea salt.

  • Nose: Vanilla, coconut milk, delicious baked peach, oranges and lemons
  • Taste: Tangy peat, pineapple, juicy mango and kiwi fruit tempered by sea salt and olive oil
  • Finish: The long, honeyed, zesty finish

Not so sure about the kiwi fruit or olive oil but certainly the balance is more or less what we found!

Our Bowmore ‘travel trilogy‘ evening included:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Bowmore Travel Trilogy – Black Rock 40% Revisited

1st in our Bowmore travel trilogy was an NAS whisky we sampled a few months earlier – Black Rock.

The original bottle helped inspire the Bowmore Travel Trilogy theme… as one of our ladies happened to acquire it at the same time I picked up the White Sands. However when another whisky lady picked up the very same one, it gave us an opportunity to try it in one of our “Contributor’s Choice” evenings a little earlier and revisit it side-by-side with two other Bowmores – what fun!

Bowmore Black Rock 40%

And what did the Whisky Ladies think the 2nd time around?

  • Nose – Smoked fruit, dried prunes, sun-dried currents and cranberries, burnt orange, roasted almond, a puff of smoke
  • Palate – Sweet spice, smooth peat, bit of cloves, that hint of smoke carried through
  • Finish – Cinnamon sweet, there but barely

Overall a simple straight forward whisky. We found the nose more exciting than the palate. Easy to drink though some found it a little sweet.

How did this contrast with our earlier tasting experience?

  • Nose – Initially sour curd, warm and wintry, intense and then closed, light peat, then 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

Here is what the Bowmore folks have to say about this whisky:

“Inspired by the Black Rock of Islay.”
  • Nose – Smoke infused with raisins, pepper, warm cocoa beans and burnt orange
  • Taste – Rich sherry and peat smoke followed by blackcurrant treacle toffee and cinnamon spice
  • Finish – Beautifully balanced peat smoke and sea salt

Our Bowmore ‘travel trilogy’ evening included:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: