Bowmore 1974/2012 (51.8%, La Maison du Whisky, Artist#2, cask #3841, 150 bottles) I’ve tried many vintages of Bowmore, but I believe it’s the first time I come across a 1974. This should be interesting, will it be more ‘early 1970s’ (i.e. excellent) or rather late 1970s (sometimes quite poor)? Colour: gold. Nose: hmm… hard to say. There are these slightly unlikely notes such as ‘new plastic pouch’ as well as quite some porridge and, maybe, tiny-wee ideas of baby vomit. A little cabbage too, new tyres, ink (newspaper of the day)… On the other hand, some tropical fruits from the earlier vintages do remain, such as mangos and grapefruits. A little undefined so far, I’d say, although it tends to improve quite a lot with more breathing. With water: rather nicer. More farmy notes, a little manure, cow stable, a little seaweed. Mouth (neat): definitely better at first sips, with many more fruits, grapefruits, citrons, some lemon balm, honeysuckle honey, then more cough lozenges, smoked tea, pine tar liqueur… Having said that, it tends to become much drier over time. With water: becomes a little more briny and rather more medicinal at the same time. Finish: not very long, more on smoked tea and brine. Dry and slightly sour aftertaste. Comments: let’s put it this way, it’s an old Bowmore and I think old Bowmores ought to be respected. SGP:454 - 80 points.