Bowmore 1969 (1980’s bottling)

Scotch Whisky Review #268: Bowmore 1969 (1980’s bottling)

Distillery: Bowmore

Region: Islay

Age: NAS. Distilled in 1969 and bottled sometime in the 80s.

Cask Type: Sherry

ABV: 43.00%

Price: Pour courtesy of /u/KissMeElon, bottle originally from Dundee Dell in Omaha, NE which has sadly since closed.

Color: 1.4, Tawny.


Nose: Much like this other Bowmore from the Dell, this is full of that musty-funky-fruity note that is so intoxicating. The main difference is the intensity of it. On a ten point scale, the other one would be around a 6 and this a 10. It’s just so concentrated and frankly delicious. It’s almost like being able to smell the dunnage warehouse mixed with some Ribena/blackcurrant drink. Additional notes of cardamom, muscat grapes, lychee, and passionfruit just makes things just that much better.

Palate: First note out of the gates is a nice rich sherry. You get some of the lychee as well as a bit of something floral (I was reminded of hibiscus tea). There are a few more aromatic notes that I couldn’t quite pick out. And then there’s the musty-funky goodness from the nose. It, combined with the sherry, results in something that reminds me of a vidal ice wine I had near Niagara a few years back. It has a rich depth of flavor with enough funkiness going on to make things really interesting.

Finish: Nice and long. More of the ice wine with a bit of rambutan and a few floral notes.


Conclusion: /u/KissMeElon graciously shared a few of his bottles from the old Dundee Dell (a dive bar originally ran by a scotch enthusiast that has since closed and due to reopen under new owners) in Omaha. The nose on this honestly might the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to try. The flavors are so deep and so intense and just seem to ooze all over the place. The rest of this dram doesn’t slack either. The palate is rich and flavorful, with a nice interplay of more aromatic notes and the musty-funky-fruity ice wine. The finish lasts forever and just leaves a little more goodies on its way out that just make you want to dive in for another sip. Phenomenal.

Final Score: 96.

Scotch Whisky Review #268, Islay Review #40, Whisky Network Review #412


Scoring Legend:

  • 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.

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