Bowmore 15 year old 2001 (Whiskybroker)

Review 2017-001 «Specifics» Single malt • Vintage 2001 • Bottled in 2016 • 52.5% Alcohol • Matured for 15 years in a bourbon barrel (#31931) • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Bowmore (Islay, Scotland) • Bottled by • Creetown • Scotland • Limited availability (212 bottles) • Not available anymore (price was ±€70) • Whiskybase #88049 • Split cask with Whiskybarrel Bowmore 15 Year Old 2001 Burns Malt

STORY. A new custom will be introduced from today on: Wednesday=Whisky=Review, so the first official Wednesday Special Whisky Review. We kick-start with an independent bottling from the Islay distillery of Bowmore, bottled by Whiskybroker(, and an excellent one it is! This came recently to me via a bottle share, and it is the first time that I try a release from Whiskybroker. I heard some really good stories about this independent bottler. Moreover, I read that this particular release was completely sold out within 48 hours. Well that is fast for an independent release. Makes me even more curious…



APPEARANCE. Natural Simple and informative design, colour of the contents is light golden and is bourbon coloured.

NOSE. Initially I find some peat smoke, but soon the bourbon cask influenced becomes apparent showing sweet, sour, and fresh fruits. Smoke tries to comes through, but succeeds only partially. (water) There are more oranges,with some lemon skin and grapefruit. Oh yeah, the grapefruits really kick in now along with some fire smoke in the background. Then come orange-scented candles, orange sweets, candied orange skin (definitely) and smoked (barbecued) oranges. Anything that resembles something orangey, in fact. Later on, there is some barley, butter scotch and butter scotch cookies (with caramelised orange skin, of course).

TASTE. Here we have also some peat and smoke, but shorter. Then it all goes towards orange road… In fact, bags of oranges (and everything derived from that: orange skin, juice, sweets, sauce, the whole). A whiff of smoke shows in the back. I find it Glenmorangie-ish (the original), but then more an advanced, much more complex version. Indeed, the complexity of of the orange notes is astounding. Long finish with a perfect balance between sweetness, acidity and a whiff of peat smoke.

VERDICT. Brilliant bourbon cask-matured dram, probably the best I have tasted so far (ok, that were not that many). The oranges are really awesome. And remind me, which distillery were we tasting here? Bowmore, you say? Well, the smoke smoke/peat brings some balance to the acidity. So, the distillery has been allowed to play a part in the whole, albeit small. But the bourbon cask, oh my. I really have to find a similar release somewhere… Anyone?

Recommended for people who like everything orange-y or who want to taste a really good bourbon-cask matured whisky.

Thanks to Mike for the sample!

What others say

  • @Whiskybase: Mean score of 88.75 (18 votes)
  • Serge Valentin “A little softer than other Bowmores from the early 2000s, perhaps. Extremely good nonetheless” Score: 88/100
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