Bowmore David Simson Distillery Exclusive 20 Year Double Sherry Cask

Scotch Whisky Review #458: Bowmore David Simson Distillery Exclusive 20 Year Double Sherry Cask

Distillery: Bowmore.

Region: Islay.

Age: 20 Year.

ABV: 50.70%.

Cask Type: 15 years in Oloroso Sherry Butts followed by 5 years in a first-fill Pedro Ximenez Butts.

Price: Pour courtesy of /u/KissMeElon.

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.

Nose: The sherry maturation really shows here, you get tons of it from the first whiff. You get raisins a couple of ways, there’s a dark rum raisin note as well as one of golden raises. Old leather and oak round things out.

Palate: Much like the nose suggests, this is very sherry heavy. I found that it needed water to control the heat a bit and the sherry doesn’t dissipate at all doing so. Raisins, both golden and standard, along with leather and a strawberry rhubarb jam are what stand out.

Finish: Medium in length. Notes of sherry and leather again along with a small bit of peat and ash.

Conclusion: If I were to rank the distilleries of Islay into a tier list, Bowmore would simultaneously be in the top spot and the bottom spot. The top spot because independent bottlers and older official bottlings have showcased just how good this distillery’s whisky can be and the bottom spot because of how amazingly good Bowmore is at neutering its own spirit. Going into this dram, I had hoped that they would have managed to give us a modern official bottling that did themselves justice (like the French Oak 19 year). Unfortunately, they’ve done it again. While this is a nice whisky, particularly for enjoyers of sherry bombs, there is very little that tells you this is a Bowmore or even a peated whisky. Blind me to this and I probably would have guessed it to be a sherried Speysider or even a Glendronach. Certainly not a bad whisky, but certainly one that the distillery has managed to neuter. Perhaps it will change with more bottle open time, but I’m not holding my breath.

Final Score: 83.

Scotch Whisky Review #458, Islay Review #76, Whisky Network Review #615

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and 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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