Sunday 16 October 2022

Tasted #594: 1957 "Moon Import" Bowmore (TimeforWhisky 10 Year Anniversary Dram)

Our 4th 10th Anniversary Dram dram (and first, but not last from this distillery) is a 1957 Bowmore from Italian Independent Bottler Moon Import.

Many whisky fans will be familiar with Samaroli, and the legendary independently bottled whisky they released in the 1970s to 1990s, but there were other equally legendary Italian independent bottlers at the time - Sestante (later Silver Seal), Nadi Fiori's Intertrade, and Moon Import to name the most notable ones. Whilst the latter is probably most well-known for its "Birds" series, they produced several other bottles as well, including this 1957 Bowmore, bottled in 1990 at 32-33 years old.

My love of Bowmore is no secret (especially to anyone who follows our Instagram) and as much as I love the older, tropical style Bowmores, particularly those from the 1960s, they're not exactly easy or cheap whiskies to procure these days. In a WhiskyFun article on a legendary Bowmore tasting (which I wasn't at, but which included this exact bottle) Angus MacRaild said  "I would hazard that Bowmore from the 1950s and 1960s is still recognised as one of the greatest spirits ever produced by mankind." 

It's pretty hard to ague.

I was fortunate enough to try this bottle thanks to the significant generosity of @whisky_is_better_aged (a name that'll come up again during these 10th anniversary tastings) - once in 2019, and again more recently.

"Moon Import" Bowmore 1957 (40% ABV, 32-33yo, Islay, Scotland, £8,500+)
Colour: Vibrant yellow gold.

Nose: Oh my goodness, this is tropical fruit heaven. Guava at first, then passionfruit. Some slight oat cake hints, then it's back to the fruit - pineapple, more passionfruit. There are some faint floral notes too. It's definitely got character, but there's a light delicateness to it as well (no doubt at least in part due to the 40% ABV).

Palate: More of the fruit from the nose - pineapple most predominantly, but there's guava, passionfruit (in spades) and mango to a slightly lesser extent. There's also a faintly BBQ-esque meaty note, and a slight salinity that reminds you of where this whisky originated. For me though, the fruit dominates, and whilst the whisky (bottled at 40%, now with 32 years of bottle ago) is undoubtedly full of flavour, you can't help but think it would have just that little more with some additional ABV, maybe.

Finish: Medium to long in length, with a residual sea-salt smoked passionfruit note.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 93/100. Ticks a lot of the tropical fruit notes I love, and is technically a very respectable whisky. Whilst I hate to default to the old "this would be better at a higher ABV" chestnut...I would have loved to try this around 50% ABV.

See you here tomorrow for #5!


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