Bought: World Duty Free, 2nd July 2015
87.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
79.48/100 – Whiskybase (average from 152 member votes)
Before I go to an airport I like to plan in advance what whisky I’m interested in. This might work if ‘World Duty Free’ list all their available whisky online but they don’t. When I got to Gatwick airport I discovered several new spirits including this Bowmore. It was also reduced to £40, which seemed very reasonable for a 1ltr bottle. I quite like the subtle Islay flavours of Bowmore so I decided to take the plunge and buy a bottle, even if it was obviously riddled with caramel colourant.
Around 80/100 on Whiskybase is a reasonable mark but it doesn’t help that one member rated it 1/100 even though they loved it. You have to hope that the other 151 voters managed to get the scoring system correct. A member scoring the ‘Black Rock’ 85/100 said “while I’ve had better Bowmores, this is a surprisingly well made dram. It’s young alright but it does not suffer the young age maladies, and feels very good on the palate, with the right balance of peat and sherry. A good buy if you’re a Bowmore fan and you’re travelling soon. I liked it quite a bit.”
Scoring 87.5/100 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible classifies the Black Rock as “very good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying”. He describes it as a friendly, full-bodied dram with smoked toasted fudge as the main theme with a vague backdrop of cinnamon and marmalade. He summarises with “if you are looking for a gentle giant, they don’t come more wimpish than this”.
Here is a whisky tasting by Horst Luening of Whisky.com (YouTube Sept 2014):