1989 A.D. Rattray Bowmore 23 Years Review

1989 A.D. Rattray Bowmore 23 Years is a fun whisky not just because it’s an indie Bowmore, but because it’s a pre-94 Bowmore. What’s so significant about 1994 you ask? Well if you had read the Malt Nuts Sherried Bowmore Tasting article you’d know 😉

In 1994 Suntory bought Bowmore which was owned by the Morrison-Bowmore company at the time. A.D. Rattray is owned by Stanley P. Morrison Ltd and no the Morrison is commonality is not a coincidence. If the legends are to believed, before the Morrisons left Bowmore they marked the best casks and took them to A.D. Rattray to bottle and sell themselves – kind of like what the Teelings did at Cooley. This is supposedly the reason why pre-94 Bowmore, like this 1989 A.D. Rattray Bowmore 23 Years, is so good and fetches a hefty price these days.

1989 A.D. Rattray Bowmore 23 Years Info

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Bowmore
Bottler: A.D. Rattray
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: Refill Sherry Hogshead
Age: 23 Years (89-12)
ABV: 52%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Cask: 1102

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller ($130 when available)

1989 A.D. Rattray Bowmore 23 Years Review

EYE
Copper

NOSE
Hay-like malt, sherry sweetness, peat, strawberry Necco, toffee, orange rind, cupcake frosting, spice and nuts. A lovely rich aroma. Proof there is a way for Bowmore to be tasty!

PALATE
Sherry pops right away and then fades out to malt, cocoa, peat, nuts, fruit, honey, spice and cupcake frosting. It’s interesting how sweet this whisky is, but I’m loving it because it’s balanced with an earthier malt and peat.

FINISH
Long slow fade of malt, peat, fruit, honey and sherry.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Well balanced, medium body and a thick oily feel.

OVERALL
1989 A.D. Rattray Bowmore 23 Years is great. The sweet, earthy and smoky aroma mixes together very well and delivers a wonderful balanced dram. I want to drink this Bowmore on the regular and when you add just a bit of water… damn. It instantly goes from a low A- to a high A- as it deepens and bigger notes of fruit, leather and cocoa mix in with everything else that’s happening. This is the kind of Bowmore to keep your eyes open for.

SCORE: 90-92/100 (A-, not consumed at home)

1989 A.D. Rattray Bowmore 23 Years Label

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