Bowmore 11yo (2001/2012) Maltbarn

The Bulldozer

Maltbarn has become one of my favorite indy bottlers, a pick from their range is usually a safe choice. But let's see what their take on a classic is: a sherry matured Bowmore not the usual 12 years, but the greener 11yo still blossoming its way to maturity

bowmoreMBDescription: matured in an ex-sherry butt for 11 solid years and bottled by the German Independent bottler Maltbarn.

Nose: a straightforward deep earthy nose: we're in the garage once more with a trail of motor oil, thick black exhaust smoke and leather seats, subdued lies a layer of peat with a pinch seaweed humus. The whole is richly soaked in mature sherry.
(with water added: lemony flavours make their timorous introduction adding a lot more zing to the package).

Mouth: a thick oily body with a coarse palate. bitter orange oil, figs and a sniff of ginger.
(with water added: one crack of the whip and the palate is now polished like a river coble: soft creamy orange notes, some soft vanilla, only the ginger perseveres).

Finish: persistent and drying to the point where it becomes hard to breath. notes of cigar ash and seawater.
(with water added: some soapy notes in the tail).


The Verdict: these notes may read like a true winner in my books. But like the snob I am, I'll have to make reservations. We have a powerful cask strength (probably) whisky that bulldozers over your taste buds. Dilute it and you'll break its spine.

There is probably a thin line where the harsh elements meet the softer undertones. But I was simply unable to get it there. Great nose though!

Score: 85

Nose: 24

Taste: 20
Finish: 21 Balance: 20
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house