What’s this!? Well, it has an 18 on the bottle. Apart from that not much to distinguish Bowmore 18 from its siblings, at least in terms of upfront information. It’s older. Maybe some more… sherry? Certainly no more than the 15. Onward!
Old brandy – rusty bronze.
A very different beast to its younger brothers. For starters, the “Bowmore peat” is much more subdued in the 18. In fact it can be tough to isolate at all, although the “whisky-in-the-hands” trick brings it out nicely. None of the cornflakes, or the grass. Instead, this is a sweeter spirit, and a lot more fruity. Glazed pineapple. A tart, dry white wine. Floral. Good. Lovely.
Sweet, rich, tangy and ever-so-slightly charred. The topical fruits described on the bottle are on full display, most prominently the bananas. A light sherry layer is blended in nicely, along with an almost soy sauce, umami salty bite throughout. A strangely turpentine finish, but not unpleasant. Citrus sour and tangy. It reminds me a lot of the wine-casked Kavalans, but dialled down in terms of alcohol and sweetness. Very good!
A few drops work really well to take the tang away and leave the finish a little more… resolving? I was able to drown it easily though, so I suggest watering slowly 🙂
Bowmore 18 is a great whisky, but arguably not Bowmore at its “purest”. Bowmore 15 takes it for me (as it so often does) – and the price to performance ratio is significantly higher. This is a difficult whisky to justify keeping in stock, but well worth giving a try!