Review: Bowmore Stillmen’s Selection

bowmore 17 years old stillmen's selection distillery exclusiveBowmore Stillmen’s Selection – 17yo – 53.1% abv

Info: Distilled on 22nd June 1998 and matured in Bordeaux wine barriques. Limited release, distillery exclusive of 1,500 numbered bottles.

Colour: Dark but bright with ruddy red tints.

Nose: Evocative Islay in a glass! There’s a great medium level of peat, but hiding behind that is a rich and fresh coastal spirit that has intertwined well with late summer red berries, black and red currants.

Palate: The first thing that hits me with this on the palate, and I really love it, is a deep mossy damp wooden dunnage warehouse note, quickly followed up by glowing embers of peat, a drop of coastal saline, and then in comes the rich late summer berry fruits. It’s thick and moorish with it’s oils, and a little black pepper spice at the back.

Finish: The finish is long as you’d expect, with fresh tints to it, mingling with the sweet fruits, and burning embers of the peat.

Water: Regular readers of my blog will know I’m currently not too keen on spicy whisky, and although this isn’t too spicy, I do prefer a small drop of water in it just to lower the spices even further and allow out some of the other more refined notes from the spirit.

Thoughts: I really love this dram… some people occasionally dislike wine cask matured drams, but here it seems to work very nicely; the Stillmen have picked a gem of a whisky. The age seems to work perfectly for the spirit. Very enjoyable Islay drammage.

Available: At the distillery, if you’re lucky, otherwise at auction.

Sample from my own stocks (bottle share with friends).

Comments or questions? Why not come and find me on twitter @steveprentice.

bowmore stillmens selection sample