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A plaque in the Bowmore 1969 case tells its intriguing story / ©Bowmore
However, despite its age and hefty price tag, it is not the rarest of the three. That accolade goes to the 40 Year Old. Limited to just 161 bottles and priced at $9,000, the Ultimate Rare collection’s middle child arguably offers more value for the collector and greater intrigue for the drinker.
Distilled in 1978, this liquid is the result of four decades in a mix of American bourbon and Bodega sherry. Its deep mahogany color is more enticing than the 50 Year Old and the aromas more complex. Tropical fruits combine with butterscotch and tobacco spices to create an exceptional example of marrying bourbon and sherry influences together.
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That leaves us with the baby of the bunch and at $2,500, perhaps the bargain too. With 2,976 bottles globally, the 30 Year Old is nowhere near the level of scarcity of its older siblings, but at a much more approachable price, that allocation will go just as quickly as the other two.
This whisky was nurtured for three decades in sherry hogsheads and ex-bourbon barrels. The result is a rich and fruity liquid that sits in harmony with Bowmore’s trademark subtle smoke. Think salted caramel, cooked pineapple and star anise. It is a rich dram taken from two rare casks and offered at a price that will tempt both collectors and drinkers.
The Bowmore 40 Year Old / ©Bowmore
Bowmore 1969 50 Year Old
Nose: Savory influences brought about from its early life in Vault No.1. The classic Bowmore smoke sits in harmony with a salty spice. A dash of water brings out fruitier notes such as coconut cream, salted caramel and sweetened cream.
Palate: Lemon zest and coconut combine with a peat smoke reminiscent of a tropical cocktail at a barbecue. A mellow flavor that retains a savory undertone.
Finish: A hint of luxurious black truffle sits in the background during a long and warming finish.
Bowmore 40 Year Old
Nose: Instantly luxurious. Its deep color translates into strong wooded notes. The peatiness is almost overcome by the level of tropical fruits and spice. Tinned peaches, butterscotch and burnt mango all combine.
Palate: A savory start with nut oil and leather. There are tobacco spices, like an empty cigar box, mixed with sweeter influences. Just a drip of Bowmore’s trademark distillery character remains, but it is to no detriment to this complex liquid.
Finish: Long, lingering, and luxurious.
Bowmore 30 Year Old
Nose: A real Bowmore malt. Floral notes and freshness, but still with subtle maritime influences.
Palate: Aromatic to begin with. Nutmeg and star anise, both indicative of heavy wood influence. A dash of water brings out fruitier notes such as ripe melon and mango.
Finish: Medium with sweeter notes going from strength to strength.
The Bowmore 30 Year Old / ©Bowmore
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The Bowmore Ultimate Rare Collection is available across selected markets now. For more information, visit bowmore.com