This week sees the release of a very special whisky by the Bowmore distillery. Bowmore is located on the famous whisky island of Islay, which lies off the west coast of Scotland. Islay is the home of smoky whisky and Bowmore is one of its biggest names. The distillery is the oldest in operation on Islay and one of the oldest in Scotland, having started production in 1779. It is situated in the village of Bowmore, which translates as 'sea rock' from Gaelic. The current owners are Morrison Bowmore, a division of Japanese drinks company Suntory, and the distillery has a capacity of two million litres per year.
The Gold Bowmore is the oldest whisky ever released by the distillery and forms the final part of a unique trilogy that they have created. Each whisky in the trilogy - named Black, White and now Gold - were distilled at the same time in 1964 but then stored in different casks and released in very limited quantities within the last couple of years.
The first was the Black Bowmore which appeared in 2007 at 42 years of age. It had been matured entirely in Oloroso sherry casks and was restricted to just 827 bottles upon its release. As a result of the age and rarity combination the price was approximately £2500 a bottle! Next in 2008 was the White Bowmore. This was released at 43 years of age having been entirely matured in American bourbon casks. Only 732 bottles were released worldwide and the price around £2750 a bottle. Now, the Gold Bowmore completes the trilogy. It is released at 44 years of age and has been matured in a combination of American bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks. There will only be 701 bottles released with a recommended retail price of approximately £3250 each. As this trilogy of whiskies are extremely rare and expensive, we have not been lucky enough to sample any of them, so we thought we would include Bowmore's own tasting notes.
This whisky is ebony in colour with an aromatic nose of exotic fruit, ginger and cinnamon. The palate combines ripe mango, toffee and dark chocolate with the faintest hint of signature Bowmore smoke.
This whisky is the colour of golden syrup with an amazing aromatic nose of Galia melon, mango and papaya. On the palate there are mixed exotic fruits, vanilla and maple syrup notes with a trace of Bowmore peat smoke.
This new whisky is rich gold in colour with aromas of passion fruit, papaya and vanilla on the nose. The palate explodes with ripe exotic fruits, creamy vanilla and only a hint of Bowmore peat smoke.