Info: This has been made up of different vintages from the 1990s (so around 15-25 years old), and then finished in Japanese Mizunara oak which is the first time that Mizunara casks have been exported from Japan. There’s 2000 bottles.
Colour: Fully golden, setting evening sun.
Nose: Straight away there’s a great waft of coastal peat that you’d come to expect from Bowmore, although it seems slightly more at the fore than on general releases. However behind it there’s all sorts of goodies, and a sweetness that reminds me of Love Heart sweets. There’s also definitely a sour touch there as well which balances out the sweetness.
Palate: A lovely thick and oily covering on your palate. It’s really easy for the higher than usual abv. There’s a pinch of spices which then lead straight in to gently sweet peat and malt with a coastal nature underlining everything. There’s a little bit of honey, some vanilla and a milk chocolatey thing. Slight eucalyptus freshness.
Finish: Long, really warming and relaxed with a pinch of spices to keep it going for ages. There’s a slightly floral edge, with the longer puffs of sweet coastal peat lasting out.
Thoughts: Fab stuff, refined and elegant which isn’t always easy with peaty Islay malts. I’m not sure I’m good enough on the palate to really understand what the Japanese oak has given to it; it’s an amazing dram, and no doubt that’s what the oak has helped do for it… It’s certainly more refined than most Bowmore’s I’ve had for a while.
Available: Pretty much sold out everywhere. Around £650, much more at auction I expect!
Many thanks to Bowmore for the sample.