Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Whisky Discovery #234

Bowmore 1964 Fino Cask (42.9 % abv D. 5/11/1964 B. 2012)
Single Cask Islay Malt Whisky
Circa £8,000.00 70cl
Bowmore Single Malt Whisky
The highlight of my journey so far?
So onto my third dram of a very interesting evening with Morrison Bowmore Distillers UK Regional Sales Executive, Phil Nickson. When Phil said he would be bringing along something special, I thought I had had that when I got to taste this years Feis Ile release. But upon finishing my dram, Phil pulled out a hessian bag and produced a large sample bottle with only a few drams left in the bottom of the bottle (yes, it would have been much more impressive if they were at the top of the bottle, but they weren't)

Phil went on to tell me that this was a 1964 Fino cask and that very few people have ever tried this as there were only 76 bottles released. At the time I didn't have a clue what I was about to saviour, all I knew was that it was distilled in 1964, and aged for 46 years, being bottled earlier this year.

It wasn't until I had got home, hastily scribbling out my notes while trying to find out a little about the whiskies I had just tasted, that I realised what I had just been drinking. Phil also sent me the press release for more information and photos.

This Bowmore 1964 was laid down in Bowmore's legendary warehouses below sea-level, The No.1 Vaults, on 5th November 1964. For the next 46 years it would be maturing in a specially selected North American bourbon cask, followed by a Fino sherry cask. The 76 bottles were released in July 2012

The 46 Year Old Whisky has been bottled into an exquisite hand blown vessel, painstakingly sculptured using molten glass with a design inspired by the waves of Loch Indaal which lap against the distillery's wall, crafted by Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns, two of Scotland's most renowned glassblowers. The sterling silver stopper was produced on commission by Hamilton & Inches who are Edinburgh's leading jewellers and Warrant Holder to the Queen. The rustic wooden box is made from Scottish sourced oak, and whole package is stunning! 
Bowmore Single Malt Whisky
The full 'Bowmore 1964 Fino' package
So What Did I Think?

The nose on this blew me away, seriously! It was like nosing a tropical fruit salad. There was papaya, mangoes, kiwi fruits, bananas and coconut all soaking in passion fruit juice, absolutely incredible. I never knew a whisky could give you such a fresh and fruity nose. Given a little time the faint waft of the Bowmore smoke appears, it really was stunning stuff.

While nosing this whisky and probably looking very wide eyed in disbelief, Phil asked me what the best whisky I had tasted in my journey to date. I told him that I'd been very fortunate in having the opportunity to taste some fabulous whiskies such as The Balvenie 40 Year Old, The Glenfarclas 1963 Family Cask as well as some Port Ellen's and a Brora recently, so it would be difficult to chose just one, but on reflection later that evening when I got home, I think this must be the jewel in the crown.

The tropical fruit salad was also on the palate, fresh juicy tropical fruits, with a little more citrus zest than fround on the nose. There was also a pinch of salt along with the fragrant wafts of smoke, before the creamy vanilla notes from the bourbon casks came through towards the end. I wasn't expecting it to be so light and packed with flavours.

At the end as the whispy smoke begins to fade, the fruit remains with peaches and passion fruit and creamy vanilla. It was so amazing I immediately asked if I could have a drop more, and releived the whole wonderful experience again. I couldn't stop thinking about this for the remainder of my evening, it truly was the most incredible whisky experience I have had in my journey to date.

Thinking back while writing this blogpost however, it saddens me to think that the 76 bottles released won't actually get to be opened and enjoyed. The few people who have tasted it are probably are either professional whisky writers and perhaps a few lucky people like me, bloggers who happened to be in the right place at the right time. I count myself as incredibly fortunate to experience this whisky, but it's an experience that too few will ever get to experience.


The Perfect Whisky Match said...

I can't believe this will be enjoyed by so few and at the same time I share in your joy of being one of the few who could. If you are anything like I am, it will be one of those drams that when you think back on it or re-read the post it will be very nostalgic and make you smile. Cheers for your luck and the great review! said...

I literally seethe with jealousy. The legendary Bowmore 1964 issues are my holy grail (as 1964 is my birth year... and I love old Bowmores... and this is the vintage of the most legendary Bowmores period). Sadly I haven't tried any of them. You have - and what you say just backs us everything I've heard. Seethe, I tell you!

Dave Worthington said...

Thanks Johanne, I consider myself truly fortunate to have tasted the rare, and unique whisky. I wish I could taste it again, but it's unlikely. I just have great memories!

Dave Worthington said...

Oh Josh, so sorry to have upset you, it wasn't intentional! Yes I was extremely fortunate, right place, right time and totally unexpected. I wasn't aware of the Tropical Fruit bowl from old Bowmores until I started to find out just what I had been drinking! I tried to take the bottle home with me, but it was not to be.