Whisky Advocate

Review: Bowmore, 40 year old

May 1st, 2011

We kick off our month-long whisky reviews with the most expensive of the bunch.

Bowmore, 40 year old, 44.8%, $11,000

Definitely showing its age, but not in a bad way — the distillery character is still there. Solid foundation of thick, chewy toffee, old pot still rum, and fig cake. Fruity too, with notes of golden raisin and nectarine. Soft, seductive peat smoke, juicy oak, cinnamon, and brine round out the palate. Excellent balance! One of the finest Bowmore whiskies I’ve ever tasted (and, at this price, will probably never taste again.)

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 96

14 Responses to “Review: Bowmore, 40 year old”

  1. David Scop says:

    How would you compare this one to the 1970 Signatory Cask Strength 35 year old?

    If appears from your notes a more refined dram

    • IsleOfWhisky says:

      In my opinion, the smoke was more prevalent in the Signatory dram. It also had some funky notes, similar to very old rum made from molasses. This Bowmore 40 I found to be cleaner, and much easier to disect. I didn’t find those funky notes. John definitely hit it perfectly with ‘seductive smoke.’ The integration of the smoke on the Bowmore 40 is incredible. A truly balanced dram.

      Sorry to chime in there, John. I recently had both these Bowmores and thought I could offer a critique. Your opinions might be different so I look forward to hearing your reply.

  2. Red_Arremer says:

    “Juicy oak” is an intriguing descriptor. Any chance you could say a little more about that?

  3. H.Diaz says:

    Even with this unbelievable price, it’s about time Bowmore made some news. Hello, Suntory?!

  4. Red_Arremer says:

    What I want to know is, how much is it for just the insane decanter and rough hewn rock stand?

  5. JWC says:

    Red, I was thinking the same thing. Better than the perfume bottles others are coming out with. The juice sounds real nice. Pity I’ll never get a taste but there’s still a lot (too much) out there I can drink.

  6. bj reed says:

    Glenfarclas 40 YO – $450 – Just saying…..

    • Red_Arremer says:

      Anyone who knows about Gf 40 cannot help but think about it anytime stuff like this comes out. I guess that’s why some people in the industry objected to the low price on it– cause it bucks the status quo they’re all trying to establish…

      • bj reed says:

        There is another limited edition Glenfarclas going out on the market soon that will confirm the industry’s frustration :)

    • Rick Mac says:

      1966 Tullibardine $500 – Sublime.

  7. Dave Baxter says:

    I love reading about old Malts like this. Personally I’d never pay the price, even if I could afford it. Glenfarclas 40 is a steal at the price, I recently purchased a bottle from KWM in Calgary. Looking for that special occasion to open it.

  8. I had an opportunity to sample this at the MBD blending lab last month and it is very good, but I found it a little light, especially compared to the 1964 Fino cask they are about to release. It is an absolutel fruit bomb!

    There are a lot of great older Bowmores out there. The 1964 Trilogy for starters, and there are also some excellent Signatory Bottlings. I have a 1972 36 year old in our shop which I feel is a “poor man’s Black Bowmore!” Sure its still $635, but it has some of those tropical fruits which made the 42 year old Black stand out! I am also expecting two different casks of Signatory 1970 40 year old Bowmore shortly! Can’t wait. I expect I’ll be sampling them sometime soon!

  9. [...] Hansell reviews Bowmore 40 years old and rate it with 96. Just a bit expensive, $11.000. Shall we order only two [...]

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