The Coopers Choice, Bowmore 1998

No sooner than had I decided to jump in with both feet and start blogging about whisky, I came down with the dreaded autumn cold. If only I’d kept a back log of tasting notes!

Luckily I’ve come out the other side and was able to review a wonderful independent bottle of Bowmore from the coopers choice. I’ve really gotten into independent Bowmores lately. I’ve noticed, from conversations with other whisky geeks and listening to some of the more prominent experts, that there is not a lot of love out there for Bowmore. Personally I love the unique Bowmore character, but I do feel it needs a craft presentation. Done right, it’s a wonderful and unique dram and really takes me back to Islay.

This February, Mrs Dramstats and I rented a college a few doors away from here:


The first day of our stay was a Sunday and, as there were no tours of any of the distilleries on after 3pm (when we arrived), I headed to the local whisky shop to pick up a bottle for the evening. I didn’t want to pick up any of the Own Bottling’s for the distilleries we’d be visiting, as I usually like to pick my favourites from the tasting sessions and buy those. However, I did want to make sure the first bottle I bought was an Islay!

So I opted for an Independent bottling of Bowmore by The Cooper’s Choice. Here are the dram stats.

  • Distillery: Bowmore
  • Distilled: 1998
  • Bottled: 2009
  • ABV 46%
  • Cask: Refill butt
  • Non chill filtered, natural colour
  • Price: about £40

Nose: Signature Bowmore with ozone, floral, peat, smoked mussels, fisherman’s friends. Like smoking fish on the beach with perfume-wearing girls at Loch Indall!

Palate: Peat, fisherman’s friends, then a wave of sea spray with mild white pepper and more smoke.

Finish: White pepper and salty peat fades quite quickly in a pleasant yet clean finish. This one gets in, gets you, then gets out.

Verdict: A real session dram this one (only 1/4 of the bottle made it off Islay, despite picking up 5 more bottles of whisky on distillery tours). An enjoyable and engaging nose, a lovely delivery and a short clean finish that brings forward the next sip. It won’t be long before I pick up another independent bottling of Bowmore!



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