What better way to enjoy a Bowmore than to go straight to where it was born: on the eastern shore of the Loch Indaal on the Isle of Islay.
Accompanied and guided by what we will call Kat (for anonymity), we walk along the bay under a bright sun and the mild spring air of the Hebrides. Where does it take us to taste this first Vault Edition? She explains that the four series of single malts are intended to highlight the major characteristics of the Bowmore distillery's style in turn and that we will start with the iodized spirit.
We first go through the malting air of the distillery to soak up the smells, then directly into the Kiln to remind ourselves that peat is the law here. Before continuing we take the opportunity to realize the dream of every whisky lover, to make a snow angel but in the malted barley and to throw a shovelful of peat into the oven.
Our walk then takes us to the Saint of Saints to taste this version called Atlantic Sea Salt is announced as a whisky with a maritime profile marked by the smoky and fruity notes typical of the distillery.
We are facing a black door with a big padlock: it says N1 VAULTS!
We enter and face what is announced as the oldest warehouse on the island! Our journey takes us through the middle of hundreds of barrels as if in a procession.
Kat shows us the bottle but doesn't open it! What's going on, we're not going to taste it? We tremble by the freshness of the historic cellar located below sea level but also by the fear of missing out on a great moment.
She smiles at us satisfied with its effect and asks us to turn around. In front of us is a barrel of bourbon. She draws her wine taster and after tapping vigorously on the was removed the cap. What better way to taste a cask strenght than before it is bottled!
She solemnly pours the liquid into our glasses! What a moment!
The nose of this whisky is paradoxically shy enough to say that it comes out of the summer and has not seen any drops of water. On the other hand, it reveals aromas of vanilla and pear. We take a breath again before diving back into our nose to discover lemon but above all a beautiful fine peat. One more breath and the place is full of the salty smell of the sea spray.
The pressure is rising, you're going to have to taste it. In the mouth, this whisky is less powerful than you might think. Nevertheless, it reveals aromas of lemon, very light peat, but also the salty notes for which it was announced
We then move from the Atlantic coast to the orchard with an apple flavour among other things. Then come the cereals and herbaceous notes, with a hint of pepper and a return of cinnamon.
The finish is moderately long but confirms citrus fruits, iodine and peat.
We then come out of this cellar, having lived a real amateur moment and will sit on the rocks facing the bay to finish our drink in the sun with behind us a large white wall flanked by a large BOWMORE in black letters.