Monday, March 12, 2018

Tasting: Bowmore. White Sands 17 Year

Bowmore. 17 Years. White Sands
Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery: Bowmore
Region: Islay
Age: 17 Years
Proof/ABV: 43%
Release: Travel Retail only/Discontinued.
DK Price: $119USD/750dkk

Points: 86 /100

Bowmore have been flirting with the so called duty free expressions or “travel exclusive” as Bowmore likes to call them, for quite some time now. The White Sands 17 year old that I am pouring tonight, landed in the duty free shops with its NAS brothers; The Black Rock and The Gold Reef back in 2015, but has already, as we speaks, been discontinued and replaced by a new travel exclusive trio; The 10 year old Dark & Intense, The 15 year old Golden & Elegant and The 18 years old Deep & Complex. It’s quite funny that Bowmore insist on calling these whiskies “travel exclusive”, maybe they really were meant for the duty free shops only, but if it is so, let me tell you, a lot of these bottles must have been distributed to the wrong stores, because thousands of them ended up in online stores.

Bowmore don’t seem to have any kind of problems what so ever, when it comes to stock shortages. In contrast to many other scotch distilleries Bowmore’s expressions seems to grow older and older over the years. They're core range currently holds 12,15,18 and 25 years old whiskies and Bowmore have recently released their fifth and final edition of their exclusive Black Bowmore 1964 distillation flashing a 50 years old age statement.

I do appreciate the fact that Bowmore's new travel exclusive trio are all age stated whiskies, but just like their White Sands, I would really have appreciate it, if Bowmore haven't bottled them at their usually conservative 40 – 43% ABV.

We have previously described Bowmore Distillery. Click here if you want to learn more!

Deep layers of gentle cigar smoke followed by hay, honey, orange peel, leather and a bit of salt water.

Light vanilla and toffee at first, then a taste of grapefruit mixed with malt takes over, slowly heading towards the finish.     

White chocolate and gentle smoke that lingers.   

Overall Impression:
I enjoy the White Sands more than they're previously travel exclusive Mariener 15 - I have been avoiding Bowmore's NAS expressions, ever since they're absolutely failed Legend - but it's all a bit tamed and polished. I have no right to call a Bowmore whisky out, as not being a true Islay Whisky, but it's pretty far from the Islay I hold so dear. Personally I would rather keep an eye out for a younger cask strange expression Bowmore, that you can usually pick up for the same amount of money, from one of the many fine Independent Bottlers out there, who by the way doesn’t  add additional coloring to their whiskies, as Bowmore has done with the White Sands.