We rarely pass up the chance to try old Bowmore, so we're looking at a recently released 25yo from Infrequent Flyers, along with a younger Glenglassaugh.
Infrequent Flyers Bowmore 25yo Cask #2689
Distilled in 1997 and bottled in 2023, this release from infrequent flyers was finished in a PX Hogshead. 299 bottles were released.
The nose opens with a floral mixture of pine, fresh peach, stewed apples with a dash of cinnamon, and the faintest wisps of peat smoke. It’s one of those drams where the peat has really mellowed after such a long time in the cask, and it’s giving a very pleasant backbone to the other aromas that appear. We’re also finding sweet vanilla cream, toffee, cherry syrup, woodland dirt and ripe strawberries. The PX cask has given a bit more acidity and red fruits to the whisky, but there’s still those classic refill bourbon undertones that are the prominent aromas we find.
The palate begins with caramel drizzled over a slightly burnt sponge cake, vanilla cream, with a bit more of a punchier peat smoke flavour than the nose led us to expect. There’s some spent coffee grounds, hazelnuts, tangy raspberries and dried leaves making up the main part of the palate. The mouthfeel is nice, not as viscous as we’d hope for but not bad in any means, but this dram excels in the long finish, showing rich Lindt 70% chocolate, walnuts and baked pastries.
Nose (with water)
The reduced nose really starts to bring forward those sherry aromas, we’re starting to get some treacle toffee, dates, alongside a little bit of cigarette smoke, red currants and chimney soot. Some of the orchard fruit notes have disappeared, but we’re enjoying the explosion of new aromas. It doesn’t need to be said, but the alcohol is really well integrated here.
Palate (with water)
The reduced palate brings forward brown sugar sweetness, a little bit of cherry, fudge, wet earth, marzipan and crystallised ginger in the background. Unfortunately the mouthfeel has taken another bit of a hit, so be careful when adding any water to this dram. The finish remains nice and long, slightly chewy smoked meats and caramel.
We had some high expectations (or hopes!) coming into this dram, and these have mostly been met. For us, this dram really excels on the finish.. it lingers on forever without getting too bitter or astringent, yet leaves us with lots of rich flavours that we can chew on. We generally prefer our older Bowmore to be fully bourbon matured, however we appreciate the extra dimensions that the PX finish has imparted. Great whisky, give it a try if you get the chance.
It’s not far off what we’d expect to pay for Bowmore at this age (even if we think it’s a bit too much in general).
Infrequent Flyers Glenglassaugh 8yo Cask #2370
Distilled 8th of September 2014 and bottled in March 2023, this release from Infrequent Flyers was finished in a Virgin Oak Barrel. 263 bottles were released.
It’s sweet, not in an overly cloying way, but in a caramel/toffee/brown sugar way. There’s a bit of ginger spice, red fruit yoghurt, macaroons and caramelised white chocolate. The alcohol feels pretty well balanced for the 59% ABV it presents at, we’re not struggling to get our noses deep into the dram. The virgin oak is giving a good whack of vanilla custard, digestive biscuits and a hint of lemon zest in the background.
The palate begins with dark chocolate, caramelised brown sugar mixed with a liberal pinch of cinnamon, and lots of honey too. There’s something slightly earthy here that appears towards the latter part of the finish. The mouthfeel is good, it’s silky and thick, providing good structure for those sweet, sticky toffee and caramel flavours. It’s perhaps a little one note though.
Nose (with water)
The reduced nose greets us with similar honey, toffee and vanilla notes, but slightly mellower now. The ginger spice has mellowed, and morphed more into a sweet ginger cake. Overall it’s still quite similar to the unreduced nose.
Palate (with water)
The reduced palate mirrors the reduced nose, we’re not finding too many differences from the original palate, however it feels a little more mellow overall. The finish has more of a caramelised chocolate flavour with a touch of white pepper. With time, we start to get a bit of citrus appearing too.
We’re not sure we could drink more than a dram of this in a night - it’s not cloyingly sweet, but is just a little too sweet and one dimensional. It’s still a lovely dram and we can see it fitting nicely into a tasting lineup showing what virgin oak finishes can do.
Pretty good value here, we can’t complain.
- 10 - Perfection. One in a million
- 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
- 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
- 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
- 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
- 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
- 4 - Below average. Passable.
- 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
- 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
- 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.