Bowmore 21 [The Maltman]

Bowmore 21 [The Maltman]

Meadowside Blending is an independent botter specialising in rare single malt whiskies and blends. Based in Scotland they have some impressive whiskies to their name! This particular review focusses on one of their recent releases that caught our attention – a 21 year old Bowmore from 1989 that has spent its life maturing in Bourbon. It is released under their Maltman range and comes in at 46% ABV

On the nose were initial dulcet tones of vanilla as a result of the 21 years in bourbon. The smoke in this whisky has been reigned in over its life and we were left with a lovely hint of chargrilled fish and an earthy, grassy smell. Once we were past the ashy introduction we were treated to citrus fruits and mint tea. This is a whisky that needs time to be appreciated, but as you do it rewards you – it took me back to my trip to Bowmore’s No 1 warehouse with its fabulous damp, spirit heavy woody smell.

The palate was a mix of vanilla and custard creams before the spice built offering a touch of oak among the smoke and peat. The dram is really quite tarry and dirty (in a good way) before it is cut by a citrus streak that runs through it. Other notes of rich tea biscuits and warm fudge rounded off the taste. The finish was dry and very long, it was full of coal dust and smoke – a real chimney sweepers dram in our view!

It is well worth seeking out this whisky to have the experience of trying a relatively old Bowmore – it is well balanced and is a fine example from Islay’s oldest distillery.