Advent Day 24 – Christmas Eve – A.D. Rattray 1999 Bowmore 14 Year Old Single Malt | Blog #56

Welcome to Christmas Eve everyone!

Over the years we have had some very special casks of Bowmore from Tim Morrison’s own stock at A.D. Rattray (some of you might still have some tucked away).

I wanted something special from A.D. Rattray for Christmas Eve as they are responsible for my first love affair with Scotch Whisky.

Mr Morrison closely guards his good barrels of Bowmore and it is like proverbially pulling teeth to get access to one these days. Bowmore is the oldest Licensed Distillery on Islay founded in 1779. Lot’s of rich history and legends surrounding this distillery. It is also very iconic with its expansive white washed walls and emblazoned “BOWMORE” beckoning out to Loch Indaal.

Whisky: A.D. Rattray 1999 Bowmore 14 year old single malt

*Cask # 2261 – Sherry – Cask Strength 58.3% alcohol – non-chill filtered*

Bowmore 14yo Bowmore 14yo

Colour: Another lightly coloured sherry casked whisky. Wedding band gold.

Nose: Medicinally sweet with just a touch of hickory smoke and BBQ’d salmon.

Palate: Can’t for the life of me believe that this is almost 60%. Instantly warming and palate coating this whisky penetrates right down to your very core. A touch of life instilling tingle almost like the tip of tinkerbell’s magic wand. Sweet salty peaty notes and such richness. This is one amazing whisky for only 14 years old.

Finish: Don’t stop the ride I want to go around for another turn… Long and lingering the warmth now has taken over and gone right down deep into my chest and still the flavours persist. Drying at the end the slightly sweet iodine continues and rolls into peppered, candied smoked salmon with a maple glaze. Also brings to mind my lovely Cavendish blend smoked in my Cherry Wood Lorenzetti pipe.

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. 

Water: Brings out more of the sweet hickory smoky nose and then delivers balanced softer tones. Some creamy heather honey flitters in at the end. It ends like a 1998 Macanudo vintage cigar (my favorite). This is just for me personally everything I want from an Islay whisky – High fives all round Woot Woot.

**Curt from All Things Whisky has also been “Tasting” along with the calendar. Check out his notes HERE.

Thanks Tim and the A.D. Rattray team for allowing us to dip into the precious Bowmore single cask stock.

This is a really fantastic expression and harkens back to the first cask of sherried Bowmore we released as a 15 year old expression so many years ago when launching A.D. Rattray into the Canadian market.

I hope you are enjoying this lovely dram by the fire and basking in the warmth and glow of this special time of year. In our busy lives made all the more fast paced with unending technology and “smart” phones never allowing us to unplug, it’s life’s little treasures like these whiskies that force us to relax and give us a reason to pause and contemplate our blessings.

For those of you that have yet to embrace why Islay can be so incredible, I hope this Bowmore expression helps to fill in the blanks as to why the diversity of whisky is the reason its so amazing.

Tomorrow is Christmas Day. I hope and pray for all of you enjoying the 1st Edition Scotch Whisky Calendar this year that you are able to spend it with family and friends and to make it as special as possible.

I think I hear Christmas bells ringing…..better get to bed to give Santa time to get some goodies under the tree….


A. D. Rattray Website

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