Scotch Whisky Review #226: Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy Manzanilla Cask 18 Year
Cask Type: 13 years in ex-bourbon casks, finished in Manzanilla Sherry casks
Color: 1.2, Chestnut/Oloroso Sherry.
Nose: (according to the wife) An interesting mix of tropical fruits and some smokier and maritime notes. There’s the distinct notes of lychee and pineapple, particularly lychee. It’s joined by a salty, slightly tangy, smoked fish note with a hint of salty sea air.
Palate: Much like the nose, this is a fairly nice mix of smoke and fruit. That bit of salty sea air sticks around to get you started. Dried oranges pop in quickly followed then by loads and loads of plum along with bits of cherry. Some smoke rolls in with some spices mixed in though I can’t quite pick any of them out. With water, the orange note gets stronger with the plums taking second fiddle to them. A dash of raisin also joins in on the party.
Finish: The finish here is fairly short. It’s very clean, leaving next to no aftertaste. After some water is added, the peat lingers for just a second or two with some spiced orange slices to boot.
Conclusion: I’ve only had one Bowmore before, their regular 12 year old bottling, and I was far from impressed so I didn’t have much in the way of expectations going into this older special version and I’m left pleasantly surprised. I’m always looking for balance in flavors in a whisky and this Bowmore almost delivers on that. Spice, smoke, fruit, and saltiness all are in play here and for the most part, things are pretty balanced. The layers of fruit with spices in between is nice resulting in a pretty delightful whisky. A little bit more of the peat coming out might have been nice, it almost feels a tad muted at points. The finish being so quick and clean does leave a little to be desired as well. But on the whole, I enjoyed this one. Would I buy a bottle? Perhaps.
Final Score: 82.
Scotch Whisky Review #226, Islay Review #28, Whisky Network Review #336
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.