Here is another bizarrely named release of Bowmore from Jack Wieber’s “Wanted” series. This was distilled in 2001 and was released in 2012. I have so far reviewed two others in this series (see here and here); those had odd names too but not quite as odd as this one, which I think I would, on the whole, rather not have explained. Well, I did like both of those a fair bit, so if oddness of name maps on to quality of whisky then I should be in for a treat. Let’s see how it goes.
Bowmore 2001, “Wanted: Rabbit Franky The Mohre” (53.4%; Jack Wieber; bourbon cask; from a purchased sample)
Nose: A little blank at first but then it starts getting both fruity (melon, a bit of guava) and coastal (seashells, brine). On the second sniff it’s also quite custardy and there’s some sweet and prickly peat too now. Fruitier with time. With water it gets a little mentholated but the custardy fruit is still to the fore. Continue reading →
I confess that I purchased this whisky a few years ago for rather shallow reasons—two of them, in fact. First there was the irresistible label. I mean just look at that dog, peg leg and all. Then there’s the fact that this Islay malt, from an undisclosed distillery and of uncertain age, was billed as being finished for 17 months in a Port Ellen sherry cask. You have to support that kind of shamelessness. I had no expectations of the quality of the actual contents of the bottle and so didn’t open it for a very long time. Not, in fact, till this August when I took it, along with another bottle, to one of my friend Rich’s annual tastings celebrating sherried whiskies—the same one that featured the Glengoyne 25, the Bowmore Feis Ile 2012 and the Glenfaclas 1968, among others. The other bottle I took was my main contribution—this one was just a novelty. But as it turned out a number of the people in attendance had it in their top three for the night, and I have to say I rather liked it too. This was a very pleasant surprise. I’d meant to review it formally right away but somehow never got around to it. Until now. Let’s see how it’s developed as it’s sat for a couple of months with some headspace in the bottle. Continue reading →
I referred to this bottle a few weeks ago as bearing perhaps the most whimsical design in Jack Wieber’s “Wanted” series of Bowmores. (Click here for full effect). While the label only notes the distillation year of 1996, an email to the bottlers yielded a very quick clarifying response that it was bottled in 2012 (making it either 15 or 16 years old). Alas, a follow-up email asking for a little more information on the series received no response–but I’m sure they have more important things to do than respond to idiot bloggers.
Bowmore 1996-2012, “Wanted: The Smallest Whisky Shop on Four Wheels” (53.3%; Jack Wieber’s Whisky World, bourbon cask; from a purchased sample.)
Nose: Ah, classic Bowmore flowers with a nice buttery, vanilla topping. And now here comes the sweet peat and brine (like sweet sea urchin), getting minerally and acidic (though not very). Really quite buttery and unctuous. With time the butteriness recedes and is replaced by ozone and something a little more acidic. Water brings out some lemon and brings back the butter/cream: let’s say lemon curd. Continue reading →
Jack Wieber’s Whisky World is yet another German store/independent bottler with a strong reputation for cask selection. Most of their releases seem to be in series–the Old Train Line series, which features some very old whiskies, is very well-known, as is the Castles series. Both of these series have classy labels with a vintage feel (go ahead, look them up on Whiskybase). Their Wanted series, however, which only seems to include bottlings of Bowmore from the late 80s on, adds wackiness to the vintage feel. The labels feature Old West style Wanted poster art and the whiskies have names like “The Loving Brothers”, “The Dead Mouse Eater” (apparently a reference to Serge Valentin), “The Question Mark Man” (which I am reviewing today), and most whimsical of all, “The Smallest Whisky Shop on Four Wheels” (which I will be reviewing in a few days).
While I’m opposed to wackiness for its own sake in every area of life, Jack Wieber’s usually pulls it off with style; and as long as the whisky is good, it’s nice to see bottlers who don’t take themselves too seriously. Too many other independent bottlers choose to go in the opposite direction of a “premium” look and tone, and I find that more tedious (not to mention, usually more expensive). Continue reading →