Monday, March 17, 2014

Whisky Review: The Exclusive Malts Bowmore 11 Year 2002/2013

The Exclusive Malts are a product of the Creative Whisky Company. While not a large presence in America, they have partnered with K&L Wines to offer a number of single cask whiskies.

This particular whisky was distilled in 2002 and bottled in 2013 from cask #20098 at full strength - 56.3%.

Thanks to Michael Kravitz for this sample.

The Exclusive Malts Bowmore 11 Year 2002/2013

Nose: huge new make notes of green malt and plastic, sour decaying vegetation, pine needles, low tide seashore, raspberry esters, ripe cheese, play dough, cedar, burnt cinnamon. After adding a few drops of water, it shifts towards the malt and grainy character, with the seashore notes becoming a bit more pleasant, but the new make character still lurks in the background, and the woodier notes retreat, leaving a fairly simple nose overall.

Taste: simple malt sweetness running throughout, unpleasant new make notes of plastic, pine, and green vegetation, strikingly bitter oak with new lumber character (tastes like a small cask - one more reason it seems like craft whiskey) that moves in and out of focus - and eventually dominate the palate, peat is present - but barely - at the back. After dilution, the palate is completely overwhelmed by the bitter new oak - there just isn't much else left.

Finish: dirty seashells, low tide, bitter oak, new make malt

This is Bowmore? As Florin noted in the comments on Michael's review, it tastes like craft whiskey. And not in a good way. I seriously do not know what's up with David Driscoll's (and every other K&L staff member's) sense of taste, but it's clearly different than mine.

Quite glad to have had this from a sample, because it's just not an enjoyable whisky. Some of the nastiness receded after the sample had been open for a while, but it never turned into anything I really want to be drinking. Maybe it'd get better if I had a whole bottle to go through, but even if I was sure that it would improve, I'm not sure how I'd push past the unpleasant parts to get there.


  1. Nice. You're welcome. :-D

    It's probably better you didn't rock a whole bottle. Your sample came from the better half of mine.

    1. As I mentioned to Tim Read yesterday, my mistaken belief that K&L didn't ship to OR is looking more and more like a lucky break.