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January 25, 2024

Bowmore unveils new addition to Timeless Collection

The Timeless 29-year-old whisky by Bowmore has been aged in sherry-seasoned oak casks and bourbon barrels

By Spear's Partners

Set on the shores of Lochindaal on Islay, the sea loch that leads directly to the Atlantic, Bowmore’s unspoilt location and venerable history has ensured it of a special place in the heart of Scotch lovers. 

Founded in 1779, the distillery’s approach has changed little over the subsequent generations. One of the few still to have its own malt barn, Bowmore continues to malt its own barley, while its kiln is fired by peat for the first part of the drying process, imbuing the final distillation with Islay’s signature smoky twang. The maturation of the liquid, meanwhile, takes place in Bowmore’s famous No. 1 Vaults, a cool, dark, damp environment whose sea-facing wall lends a certain maritime minerality to the whiskies.  

Bowmore’s distillery on the Scottish island Islay

There, the cellars play host to a range of liquids destined to span the core age-statements, from the 12-Year-Old to 25-Year-Old, as well as more limited releases that speak of individual vintages, such as the 1969 50-Year-Old. But the distillery itself is about far more than just any single whisky. From the gentle island’s warming and heather tones of the 12-Year-Old to the exotic tropical fruits of the 50-Year-Old, time is at the heart of every whisky made at Bowmore. And nowhere is this better encapsulated than within its Timeless Collection, part of the distillery’s limited-release series, and aged to showcase the rich dimensions of flavour that accrue in its whiskies over time. 

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Now Bowmore has released a new addition to the series; the Timeless 29-Year-Old has been aged in a combination of Sherry-seasoned European oak casks and ex-bourbon American oak barrels, filled in 1991 and 1992. The subsequent maturation lends a wealth of flavours, and provides a fine showcase for the richness of the Bowmore flavour spectrum. 

The nose shows wonderfully intense dark fruits – think sherry-soaked raisins and sultanas – along with Muscovado sugar and a touch of bitter orange marmalade and Christmas spice. The more time you spend with it, the more flavours you find – cherry blossom, maraschino cherries, liquorice and delicate citrus fruits.

Then, on the palate, comes that rich, warming peat character but coupled with pronounced hints of fruitcake and cocoa and a hint of sea salt, before the long, mouth-warming finish that speaks of its 53.7% cask strength and leaves a note of drying peat and salt on the lips.

Ultimately, though, this is a whisky that is as much a reflection of the impact of the passage of time as it is the peaty, saline influence of Islay. And it’s for that reason that, hidden inside the box housing the new Timeless 29-Year-Old is a neat little hourglass, its grains designed to fall from one compartment to the other in exactly three minutes. That’s the time recommended for taking in the host of flavours that define the whisky’s complex nose. As for the palate, well, timeless is an appropriate word… 

The new Timeless 29-Year-Old is packaged with a three-minute hourglass, the recommended time for taking in the whisky’s complex flavours

As Calum Fraser, the Bowmore Master Blender, says: “We purposefully strive for more character by protecting the precise processes used to ensure that we bring bold flavours to the front. The 29-Year-Old is testament to the fact that our spirit keeps delivering breadth and depth of flavour as it matures.” And as all whisky collectors will attest, time is everything… 

The Bowmore Timeless 29-Year-Old is available from Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange, RRP £1,890

Please savour Bowmore responsibly and always follow the Drink Aware guidelines.

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