Black Bowmore 1st Edition
Added on Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 at 11:27 AM
  Bottler: OB
  Age: 29 yrs Type: Scotch
  Vintage: 1964 Subtype: Single Malt
  ABV: 50.00 % Region: Islay
  Price: N/A Availability: Collectors Only

Bottled 1993.     2,000 Bottles.

What happens in a blind tasting when nobody knows they are drinking this legend? Click here for the full report.

Member Ratings and Notes

Notes from a blind tasting:


Nose:  Heavy sherry notes with some sulfur.

Palate:  Sweet sherry, very thick and syrupy mouthfeel

Finish:  Dried apricots, sulfur, a tad bitter.


A very nice sherry bomb.



Match sticks, charred BBQ stuff, burnt black licorice, flambe, berry cough syrup and a big dose of sulphur.  Smoke and ash linger with light peat.  Flashes of sherry come through and hold on through the finish.

From the LAWS blind tasting 2/2014, and we were trying to guess the distillery, age and ABV.


Nose: The sherry on this one had me thinking Strathisla or Longmorn (oh how wrong I was), and though I got a little sulphur, it was definitely not bad.  Papayas and sweet jam.


Palate: More sherry, of course, and just a light touch of peat, which had me thinking Bunnahabhain, but I still really felt this was a sherried speysider.  Definitely coats the mouth and a bit sticky, nice citrus.


Finish: Nice finish with more papayas, lingers nicely. 


I guessed 48% ABV, Strathisla at 24 years.  WRONG, WRONG and WRONG.  :(

At first I said it was very enjoyable, maybe an 89/90, then when I heard it was Black Bowmore I thought, maybe 91...errr...stop.  I'll keep it at my first score, and leave the bias of a legendary whisky out of this, but I'll select A- since that is part of my score.

89/90 (B+/A-) 


Well...after that write-up, this will seem self-serving.  However, I assure you that this an honest assessment.


I loved it.  I said I loved it at the time and I thought it was much older - around 39-40 years.  Reminded me greatly of the 1972 Glendronachs in the 700 cask series  (In the guessing-game portion of the event Glendronach, Glenfarclas, Longmorn were my distillery guesses). It was a lightly sulphered sherry thump.  Complex and IMHO excellent.  I do a considerable amount of blind tasting and this would fall into the 92+ category for me using the 100 scoring scale.  However, I doubt that I would have gone above 95......


Having said that, I would never have pegged this for the cult-icon that it is (I didn't).  Don't get me wrong, I thought it was great.  But high-four-figures, must-have-before-you-die, if-you-find-one-at-any-price-you-must-buy-it whisky?  Not at all.  Spend less than $1,000 (well, at the time of this writing anyway) on some older Glendronach sherry monsters and you will get a similar experience.


The geek in me is very greatful for such an experience.  I recommend this whisky to anyone who loves older sherry monsters with just the right amount of sulpher....just don't treat this - or any whisky - like it is the greatest thing to ever be put in a bottle.  


[Adam adds: Verifying the above. Dave was a big fan of this during the blind tasting portion.] 


Black-red color. Cigar ash, dried fruits, sherry, what a nose. I did like the nose a lot on this one. The palate was more dry sherry to me (I didn't get as much of the sweetness) with some tannins. I wrote down old library and I think I was trying to get at that it is a little stuffy malt. Great finish. It's weird, because from my notes, I'm like how did I not score this higher, but I gave it a B+ (A- nose). I will always wonder how I would have scored this both not blind and if it was later, like 4th or 5th in the lineup. The head games you play when drinking Blind -- very fun. [Blind - 2/21/14]


Guesses: 53% (vs 50); 25yr (vs 29); Longmorn or GlenDronach (vs Bowmore)


n: Magnificent


p: Great sherry, med sweet 


(If I knew what I was sampling,I'd have spent more time on notes and less time listening to Mole's Bora Bora story)

Adam you are an evil bastard of the best variety.  


n: dark black cherry juice, chocolate, black peppercorns, raw sour dough. Burnt wooden matchsticks and latex dress.


t: antique and deep sherry full of Tahitian vanilla, more black rubber, and raw peppercorns. Tease of charred/smoked walnuts and tanned leather. Completely balanced and full of scotch goodness. 


*short notes due "Blind" Meeting newb pressure.

my guess: 48% | 22yr | Bunnahabhain


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