This is a 26 year Bowmore from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society that was matured in ex-bourbon refill casks and bottled at 50.9% ABV.
Nose: Mellow peat with flowery malt up front before weathered oak begins to emerge. Honeycombs, cotton candy, and granny smith apples appear after a bit.
Palate: Wow – this is my first experience with what I believe is FWP Bowmore. This term was coined awhile back by the PLOWED society I believe. It describes a period of Bowmore that took on a very perfumey/floral character (FWP stands for French Whore Perfume). I’ve avoided Bowmores from the 80s primarily because of what is said about most of those bottlings. All that being said, this expression tastes at first like you’re eating fresh flower petals – almost sickly sweet floral notes. Old peat and oak are there along with some beeswax, but overall it’s dominated by those massive floral notes.
Finish: Floral notes persist long after with bubble gum, bitter oak, and peat.
Rating: 80/100 – I can’t say the FWP notes are objectively bad or make this a bad whisky, but they certainly throw the balance way out of whack and are unlike anything I’ve tasted in another whisky. If you really dig floral notes, this is probably about as strong as they get.
Value for the money: This retailed for $205 on the SMWSA shop and I would not buy again at that price. In general, it’s not a bad price for a 26 year expression, but perhaps I’ve avoided these 80s Bowmores for good reason.