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1996 Carn Mor Bequest "Celebration of the Cask" Bowmore 23 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml) - Damaged Gift Box
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- ABV 50.8%
Note: The gift box is broken at the base. It will still sit flat but handling should be avoided.
Whether you're buying for investment or for drinking, there are a few things to note about this bottling: Bowmores from the mid to late 1990s are considered among the distillery's better distillates. Prior to that (unless you're talking about legendary bottlings from the 1960s), Bowmore can be notoriously inconsistent. Serge Valentin of whiskyfun.com explains, "...a possible change of distillation regime around the end of the 1970’s or early 1980’s until the early 1990’s (it seems) changed the malt’s profile quite a lot, putting off quite some whisky lovers because of ‘new’ perfumy smells and flavours (lavender, geranium, heady violets) and a loss of phenolic/peaty components".
Secondly, Carn Mor is owned by former Morrison Bowmore directors, Kenny MacKay and Rob Starling together with ex-Morrison Bowmore chairman, Brian Morrison. Given the connections and the fact that the 'Bequest' label represents the top of the range for Carn Mor, you'd expect this to be a very carefully considered selection.
Finally, cask strength Bowmores with any decent age statement are a relative rarity. Those that do make it to market seem to quickly turn into investment trophies.
Distilled on the 9th December 1996 and bottled on the 9th of August 2019, this Islay gem was matured in a single hogshead yielding 225 bottles at 50.8%. The Australian allocation has been described as "a handful". This cask may well capture the lengendary mango and sweet maritime smoke notes that great Bowmore is famed for. Given the creative forces involved, our recommendation is a strong buy. Three bottles only available.
More about the bottlers... Carn Mor was originally founded as John Murray & Co. by the Bartholomew family on the Isle of Mull in 1982, and was primarily concerned with producing whisky liqueurs. In 2005 former Morrison Bowmore directors, Kenny MacKay and Rob Starling led a management buy-in of the business along with ex-Morrison Bowmore chairman Brian Morrison and his son, Jamie Morrison. Both the MacKays and Morrisons have long-standing ties to the whisky industry: Kenny MacKay previously worked with blender Peter Thomson (Perth) Ltd, while Brian Morrison’s father was none other than Stanley P. Morrison, owner of Bowmore, Glen Garioch and Auchentoshan distilleries until the company was sold to Suntory in 1994. The group began bottling single malts under the Celebration of The Cask range in 2008. Following that, the Carn Mor Strictly Limited range of malts for every day, quality drinking whiskies was launched in 2012.