Bowmore 19YO AD Rattray 59.1%
After I blogged about Bowmore's muscle weakness - the dram with ALS, that would be a catchphrase! - who had noticed me several times, buddy Wall-E gave me a sample from an independent. Those independents, I was assured from all sides after my previous blog, were much better than the Official Bottlings, in short OBs, which are characterized by general and characterlessness.
Since my stock of Master Blenders has been replenished - slowly the new ones are dripping in, you know where to find me via PB - I was able to honor this dram by putting it in a decent glass for a start.
Not to tickle my own inner tout, but that glass really adds something, especially with the higher ABVs - and with patience. You can wallow without spilling and sniffing until you drop - and pick up something new every time. Just ask MC Miker G. from S.
Wall-E is a good guy, he has surprised me with high quality samples before, so the bar is high. I've seen his house; if it is disappointing, I will undercut the Maas dyke in front of his door, so he always has enough water with his whisky.
I will try to write real big boys tasting notes without treating you to yet another humorless and boring list of aromas. I hate those lists, but sometimes a whisky deserves a solid description. This is one of them.
Scent-wise, it must be said, this is a proud boy. That is safe at almost 60 percent. As if you were stomping in sultana concentrate with your bare legs. Sherry yes, you can safely say that. Black plums, apricots, heavy, sweet, blissful, blisteringly sunny. In the distance a damp cellar full of wet wooden barrels - not moldy or rotten, just heavy with the moisture of wood. Okay, I'm starting to rave. And then vanilla. Deep, ripe, full. As if you were ramming a fresh vanilla pod up your nose at corona test pod depth. Chocolate follows. Of course, chocolate. Dark cocoa slowly melting on your hand from the heat. I'm going crazy.
The stuff seems to be made to actually drink, I realize after sniffing for fifteen minutes like a rutting horse. Come on, then, on the attack.
The 59 percent don't hurt. Tropical herbs such as cardamom and star anise beautifully complement the chocolate flavor, which can also be found in the mouth. There is really no question of smoke, unless the wood fire in the distance has to earn that qualification. The whisky tastes brown. I don't know why, but I don't know why: brown. Not to ditch water, not to gravy, not to dredged sludge. Just brown. A color of sweaters and bears, 1970s carpeting, kidney beans with bacon, suede pants for pretty girls. Comforting, hopeful, heartwarming, superior, comfortable. But also challenging, with depth, with a finish all the way to Vladivostok.
It costs more than 200 euros - if you can still get it. On the other hand, a bath full of raisins, a few kilos of fresh and dried apricots and plums, fresh vanilla pods and a generous portion of good chocolate also costs a lot of money. And that makes a person fat and nauseous much faster than a glass of this one. Bye, I'm going to taste the rest. Tasters.