Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Elixir Distillers (ElD)
Bottling serie
The Single Malts of Scotland
Stated Age
23 years old
Sherry Butt
Number of bottles
56.1 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottle code
19-6528 344
Added on
24 Apr 2020 9:01 pm by Whisky_Addicted
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 294.95

23 × in wishlist

40 × member ratings

69 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Bowmore 1996 ElD

12 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.84 points

  1. Johannes de Silentio scored this whisky 92 points Member Senior

    Color: White Wine (astonishing given the cask type and length of maturation--must have been a sixth-fill butt or something like that, completely sapped)

    Nose: I loved this on first nosing right when I opened the bottle, and nothing has changed in roughly a week. The very first thing that jumps out is a stark combination of naked spirit and smoke. Notably, especially given it's an Islay malt, smoke in this context should not be construed to mean peat as it's typically experienced. While I have no doubt the peat is contributing to this note, it comes off more like mezcal (Serge nails this in his review). If you don't care for mezcal, I wouldn't despair too much, we're still very much in malt whisky here, but it's a good analogy, I think. The smoke is complemented with a great coastal mixture: brine, citrus, and minerality (you can't help but think of rockpools, seashells, wet sand, etc.). Before thinking this is just a typical maritime malt from Islay or one of the islands, I'll just reiterate how much the mezcal-style smoke note does to distinguish this. Top notch and distinctive. Water seems to emphasize the citric side of it, which is fine, but not really an improvement, in my opinion.

    Taste: The arrival doesn't disappoint after the fantastic nose. No significant heat for a 56% malt, and it has a pleasant mouthfeel--not thick, but definitely not overly thin. You're still getting the smoky, somewhat austere profile here, although less prominently. It's been supplemented with some light honey, malt, and fruit. It honestly feels like drinking a really good, smoky Balvenie or something like that--prominent honey note, not a fruit bomb but some present nonetheless. Nothing is over-the-top, and it is not only balanced within the palate but when going back and forth between drinking and nosing. I get more ash with water, which certainly works and provides an interesting experience next to the neat palate. Both good.

    Finish: A little ashy and sweet, good combination. As I mentioned earlier, I'm familiar with Serge's review of this and didn't find the "green" note or any excessive black pepper.

    Comments: Pretty remarkable stuff, I'd say. As I mentioned when describing the color, it's unbelievably pale and natural for a 23-yo malt aged in a sherry butt. Honestly, it feels as though it's been aged in concrete. While it has very little wood influence, it's still clearly matured--there are none of the hallmarks of immature malt here, and the distillate is allowed to shine.

    I bought this largely on the basis of Serge's review and his strong 89-point score. Honestly, much of what he said for the color, nose, and taste could be copied into here and I wouldn't object: He was pretty bang-on as far as my senses go this time. I part ways with him on the finish, though, because I don't see this Bowmore losing anything there. I detect no bitterness or strong peppery aftertaste. Given that, and my affection for this style, I'm giving it a pretty huge score. So far, on WB at least, I'm not alone in holding this in such high esteem.

  2. Kensay scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    A somewhat unusual nose, interesting with its own twist, then everything is quite standard, but tasty
    • Nose
      89 89
      Dry field grass, a box with an old tool or spare parts, citruses, coriander and some spices, dusty dried fruits with mint, unusual and interesting
    • Taste
      89 89
      oil with spices and lemon, it is surprisingly easy to drink, I noticed the degree after I drank
    • Finish
      88 88
      citruses, fruits and some spices, at the end a drop of lemon and iron

  3. DenisLeonov scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Balance (22.5)
    Not banal (90)
    • Nose
      Rusty can, mackerel ... nettles, cardboard, fruit, machine oil. Very unusual, it's great (22.5)
    • Taste
      Oily, salty, smoky (22,5)
    • Finish
      Finish salty, seaweed, fruit, wax with iodine (22,5)

  4. olegborgol scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    Good bom, even very much. Strength does not interfere, everything is soft, a wonderful aroma with smoke, a pleasant taste with spices (black pepper? Well, ok) and a long aftertaste. A 205 pound bottle is a good buy. 22.5-22.5-22.5-22.5

  5. darcyk scored this whisky 89 points Newbie

    This is a complex whisky that needs time, breathing, and a decent amount of water. First impression, at cask strength: nothing but smoke; why did I waste $400 on this?! Splash of water and hours in the glass: majestic.
    • Nose
      Smoke & iodine. With water: kelp and machine shop (moreso mechanical parts vs oil). Sweet seaweed. Smoke and seaweed/sushi wrapper dance back and forth. In general, it’s soft and not in-your-face brash.
    • Taste
      I added water to bring the abv down to ~45%. Transformation in the glass! Smoke first, followed quickly by kelp/seaweed and oyster shells and medicinal notes (similar to Laphroaig but not as intense). Pig on a spit gaminess definitely there. Sweet hay/straw/heather. Overall, it’s complex, layered, and the transitions both take time and are subtle. Crazy as it sounds, I got the most complexity 4 hours after pouring. Definitely needs patience to get the best out of it.
    • Finish
      Dunnage warehouse, sowing machine, engine room/machine shop. Equally matched by heather, yellow flowers and toasted corn (aka corn nuts). Just the right amount of lingering sweetness (not much though). Hardly any fruit, but the phenolics and florals are majestic.

  6. Kovalyoff scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Blenders Glass.
    The color does not correspond at all to the type of barrel indicated on the bottle (no matter what refill it is), which suggests that someone has confused something, and this is not Bomo 23 ...
    I give it to breathe for 20 minutes, because immediately after opening the aroma is not very pleasant ... more precisely, unusual for whisky.
    As a result, the malt entered, although initially I considered him a failure - the unusual won out the ordinary. Balance 22
    Total 89
    • Nose
      Nose: it seems that it is much younger than indicated on the label (as if something was messed up), dry grass, raspberries, rusty iron sheet, minerality, light smoke of charcoal, the feeling of the presence of rum in this extract does not leave. The more it costs, the better it reveals itself - the original spirituality is gone. Unusual. 23
    • Taste
      Taste: fatty (oily), sweet (raspberry), salty, hot pepper and smoke ... goes from sweetness to spiciness in waves 22
    • Finish
      Finish: long lasting, fruity, salty (sea), hot and spicy 22

  7. Ostap scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    There is very little whisky in the aroma, more like white rum or some plum brandy, a little reminiscent of Maltbarn cognac. Pretty nice, but not whisky! If I didn't know that I was tasting, I would blindly say that alcohol is young. Neither whisky nor Bowmore was found. You can drink such glasses at the table. Given the assessments of other comrades, I do not rule out that there was some trouble with a sample.
    • Nose
      81 81
      Frankly rum origin, industrial chemical, dried herbs, some plum brandy (!), Anise, tincture on herbs and roots, a little sulfurous, berry sour, a hint of sea salinity, raspberries, a little fermented, mint chill.
    • Taste
      80 80
      Raspberries, anise, berries, tincture of herbs and roots, noticeably gives a young distillation, as plum brandy is drunk.
    • Finish
      80 80
      Short, dry, the same tincture of herbs and roots, fruity sweetness in the final phase.

  8. Funtik scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    22 23 22 22
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  9. whissmerhil scored this whisky 89 points Member Senior

    Really super good and immediate, it just lacks a bit of complexity to reach the next level ...
    • Nose
      WTF is the cabecou, honey and thyme ice cream from the Pont Saint Esprit restaurant ... We also have lemon, dark cocoa, spray to death, camphor, fresh pineapple, coarse salt and white pepper, a little glutamate (white fish) and white bread.
    • Taste
      Smoke, spray, strong camphor, thyme and flower honey, lemon cream, always pineapple with a little salt and pepper.
    • Finish
      Medium, with little persistence, on pepper and the same notes as in the mouth but merged with each other.

  10. dramidaris scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85


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