Our latest exclusive whisky releases are here! This time it’s a showcase of one our favourite styles of whisky: the fruit bomb. We’ve teamed up with German indie bottler The Whisky Agency to bring you a pair of fruity drams: one from Bowmore and one from an anonymous Irish distillery.
While Bowmore isn’t that well-known for its fruity drams these days, step back a few decades and you’ve got stacks of fruity whisky. Bowmore from the 1960s is, quite rightly, the most famous, but more recent vintages have also seen the distillery start to reclaim its old reputation.
For Bowmore, the end of the 1990s is when we’ve started regularly finding tropical fruit turn up in the whisky again, and when The Whisky Agency sent us over some samples of 1998 Bowmores, this one stood out – fruity but balanced.
Nose: A seaside sweetshop – minty rock, aniseed balls, wine gums and midget gems scoffed on a beach with a splash of sea spray and peat smoke winding down from nearby chimneys. Fruitiness sits at the core, with pineapple, mango and Granny Smith apples surrounded by barley sugar. Rock pools and sea breezes sit around the outside.
Palate: Gentle and definitely Bowmore. Soft and spicy peat smoke blankets juicy wine gum and jelly baby fruit, with chocolate limes and black liquorice to follow. The chocolatey notes build, adding a bittersweet backbone to the fruity character.
Finish: More chocolate limes along with a hint of mint. That fades to leave a puff of peat smoke.
Comment: It’s fruity, it’s got a maritime tang, it’s got a lick of peat smoke: this is the sort of Bowmore I like. It’s not as fruity as a 1960s’ bottling, but its definitely facing in the right direction.
We can have a good guess at which distillery this came from (I reckon it begins with B), but we don’t know for sure. However, it is definitely the same spirit that we’ve bottled a few times over the past couple of years and it’s as fruity as ever.
Nose: Sweet and sour nose, balancing dried and candied fruit against sharp fresh fruit. Dried apple and pear rings are piled on top of fresh and dried mango, sherbet lemons and a handful of just-peeled lychees. Hints of vanilla and soft spice waft out from underneath.
Palate: Soft and sweet, with vanilla pods balanced on top of the fruit from the nose. Royal icing sweetness sits alongside candied pineapple pieces and gentle oaky spice develops. Buttery and biscuity grain notes hang around the edges, creating a pie crust for the tropical-fruit filling.
Finish: Lemon shortbread and a tingle of cinnamon lead to lingering sherbet lemons and wine gums.
Comment: More restrained in its fruitiness than some of our previous releases, and more complex with it. The tropical fruit provides a tasty backdrop with grain and spice dancing around in front.
You can find these and all of our other exclusive whiskies on our Exclusive to The Whisky Exchange page.