Bowmore 12yo | 40.0% | Islay
, Scotland founded: 1779 | active
For more detailed mapping of the distilleries in the area from our whisky map page, use this link
Meet #34 | 22/02/13 | Hosted by Phil at Islay
A fair few of us decamped to Islay for a weekend of fun and frolics, and squeezed in a series of 5 local tastings...
A filling station so close to the coast that the sea air wafts in across the forecourt, blowing sawdust from a nearby woodpile against the station door. An old man stands in his kitchen in the flat above the station shop, there are pictures of grandchildren in a frame and "that" smell pervades, though through the years he has long stopped noticing. The room is candle-lit, hot wax dripping down the holders and splashing on the arm of the leather sofa and onto the recently varnished floor. The old man is preparing for what appears to be a party with many puddings on the make. The smells of toffee apples, bananas, cooking chocolate and even chewing gum bubble up from his various pans. Washing dishes as he goes (this man is organised it seems) the smell of the lemon washing up liquid and kitchen cleaner seeps into the miasma. An old woman enters the flat and he hears her pull off her walking boots and dump them by the door. The smell of moss and grass dug up from the forest floor drift through to the old man, who smiles warmly.
The dilapidated manor house in the grounds of the old hospital, up the hill from the filling station. A party is in full swing, posh people babble together while gathered around a long table in the dusty dining hall. A banquet of fruits is laid out before them: red grapes, limes, lemons, apples, washed out gooseberries, peaches and damsons. Nettles grow from cracks in the floor and through a broken window you can almost taste the pine trees and distant rock pools blown into the happy gathering. A small child has grazed her knee and while she blubs and munches liquorice and burnt candy a nurse applies TCP to the wound. An empty round of gins sit on a tray waiting to be taken away, the slices of cucumber garnish all that remains to the senses. For want of firewood some thrifty guest has thrown the leftover spices onto the fire for warmth and a wonderful bite of lavender and cloves fills their mouths as the revelry continues.
Bowmore distillery was looking beautiful when we visited, but will this 12yo bottling match up?
Finish & Comments
A man sits alone in his TV-lit living room, flipping channels. In the background an answer machine light flashes but he smiles wryly and ignores it, playing the 11th man. It's Thursday and the clock reads shortly after eight. He seems breathless as he lights up a cigarette and dips his hand first into a bag of tangfastics, then into some cheese and onion crisps, all of which he balances on a vanilla wafer before popping the whole package into his mouth, combining the four flavours. He's into the sports channel range now and flips between shot putting finals, a shinty special on the dimensions of the Camán, and the fifth set of the 2012 Men's Doubles Wimbledon final. A last lap of the earlier channels takes him to a cooking programme on shark-fin and ginger soup garnished with what looks like bark. As long as it took him to get there, he settles for the unusual cooking programme. Just his cup of tea.
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.
70 / 100
Detailed scores (out of 10)
Simon R: Null
Tasting Game Points (out of 6)
Simon R: 1.75
[ for other thoughts on whisky and more in-depth activities of the group, check out whisky on meiotic