Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy explores wine cask maturation

Bowmore Vintner's Trilogy


Bowmore has introduced the Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy set of three different limited edition wine cask-matured whiskies for the Singapore market.

You don’t hear much from Islay single malt whisky brand Bowmore, but when you do it’s usually something pretty awesome. A few years ago it was the Devil’s Cask limited-edition series that were some of the best non-age statement (NAS) whiskies we’ve ever tried from them. Another year was the release of the very pricy, if collectible, Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish.

At the tail end of 2018 Beam Suntory-owned Bowmore released news that the Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy – first announced in September last year – is finally available in Singapore. The premise of this set was simple: to explore what happens to the much-vaunted Islay malt of Bowmore – first aged in ex-bourbon casks – when further aged in different wine casks.

The result, at least for this round, is a collection of three whiskies – the Bowmore 18 Year Old Manzanilla Cask, Bowmore 26 Year Old French Oak Barrique and Bowmore 27 Year Old Port Cask.

Bowmore 18 Year Old Manzanilla Cask

The first of the Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy is an 18 YO that first sees 13 years in ex-bourbon casks, and then a further five in ex-Manzanilla sherry casks.

It’s the colour of beautiful antique gold. Expect to find notes of treacle, salted caramel, ripe blackcurrants, and vanilla fudge on the nose. There’s soft stone fruits, and citrus orange too, likely acquired from the fino sherry. That carries on to the palate, with bitter oranges and a burst of peat smoke coming into the fore as well.

Bowmore 26 Year Old French Oak Barrique

The 26 Year Old French Oak Barrique similarly spent 13 years in ex-bourbon casks, but is then aged another 13 years in wine barriques developing a radiant ruddy amber colour.

This full-bodied spirit develops a very alluringly mysterious character on the nose; look for berry jam, smoky camphor oil and cherry pie. On that palate is an immaculate balance. There’s spiced oak with a deluge of tropical fruits in papaya and mango. But there’s also a touch of salt, and an earthy, vinous dark chocolate note that develops as it sits in the open.

Bowmore 27 Year Old Port Cask

The third in the series is the 27 Year Old Port Cask. Like its brethren first spent 13 years in ex-bourbon barrels, but then gets another 14 in port pipes.

What you get is an amazingly balanced complexity that allows the character of Bowmore to shine through. You’ll find sweet spice, sea salt, smouldering peat intermingling with toffee and bitter herbs on the nose. Then it hits your palate mouthwatering tannin, complete with stone fruit, salted caramel and old leather notes.

“The Vintner’s Trilogy is a collection of three liquid gold whiskies which have been meticulously matured over time in our No.1 Vaults. The unique, sea-buffeted atmosphere inside the oldest scotch maturation warehouse in the world has created three perfectly balanced whiskies full of flavour,” shares David Turner, distillery manager at Bowmore.

“Each whisky offers an individual taste journey through their time maturing in manzanilla sherry, wine, bourbon and Islay malt casks,” he adds.

 

The Bowmore Vintner’s Trilogy is available as a full set at The Grande Whisky Collection, The Whisky Distillery outlets at ION Orchard, MBS, OUE Downtown, Millenia Walk, VivoCity and Raffles City. The 18 Year Old Manzanilla Cask is priced at S$299 per bottle, while the 27 Year Old Port Cask is priced at S$999 each. The 26 Year old French Oak Barrique is not sold on its own.