Mid 90s Bowmore 17 Review

This Mid 90s Bowmore 17 Review is the second sample from the generous Harold which filed the two open slots I had in my tasting notes to create two full weeks of Bowmore. Released in the mid 90s it’s a bit past the massive FWP (French Whore Perfume) problem that Bowmore had in the 80s and even a bit into the early 90s. In this sample I did still find a touch of it, but it was more of a whiff than anything.

I’m honestly shocked that Bowmore was able to fully recover the way they have with how utterly disgusting and gut wrenching that era of Bowmore can be. Though I’m glad they did and not because I cherish their OBs in any way, but because of how much I enjoy the IBs that come from them. So good, but then so is this Mid 90s Bowmore 17 I’m about to review.

Mid 90s Bowmore 17 Info

Region: Islay, Scotland

Distiller: Bowmore
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-bourbon
Age: 17 Years (1979 – 1996)
ABV: 43%

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller

Mid 90s Bowmore 17 Review


Sweet honied fruit and smoked nuts; Bits of honeycomb, dried apricot, copper, malt, taffy and a wee bit waxy. It’s sweet and fruity in a way that’s elegant and never approaches cloying.

Lightly smoked honeycomb and fruit; layers of graham, toffee, vanilla and spice with just a touch of soap. Not garish FWP soap, but more like the soft soapy nature that can show up in some older bourbons.

Long slow fade of peat, fruit, honeycomb, soap and ash. The finish is my least favorite part of the whisky.

Decent balance, medium body and soft elegant feel.

This mid 90s Bowmore 17 is quite a bit different from the Bowmore we get today. It has a depth and elegance that reminds me more of IB Bowmore and less of the current OB Bowmores. The aroma and palate are soft and sweet with a delicate layer of peat that rides along the other notes without being overbearing. Minus the ashy soapy finish this is a profile I’d be excited to find in current OB Bowmore.

SCORE: 87/100 (B+)

*Thanks Harold for this Mid 90s Bowmore 17 sample!

Mid 90s Bowmore 17 Label

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