White Bowmore 43 year old 1964 vintage, 42.8%

Price: $6000 Issue: Winter 2008 Reviewer: John Hansell

I like this Bowmore better than all the previous bourbon oak-aged, ultra-mature Bowmore whiskies that have been released over the past fifteen years (there have been several). The oak is always present, but not dominant. The whisky really evolves on the palate, just like the Black Bowmore releases. This emphasis here is on fruit, bright fruit: peach, tangerine, mango, ripe melon, and pineapple. There’s a soft, gentle side to the whisky, too, enhanced by sweeter notes of pancake syrup, orange creamsicle, and white chocolate. Heavy oak notes emerge, along with teasing, earthy smoke, to give the whisky depth and bottom notes. The smoke and oak linger long on the finish. Very contemplative. In short, an outstanding whisky, but not quite reaching the excellence of Black Bowmore.

(Allocation information: 732 bottles available worldwide; 40 bottles are being allocated for the U.S., half of the quantity of Black Bowmore which was released earlier this year.)