The fine folks over at Morrison & MacKay have been rather busy recently. Their cask bottling operations for the Carn Mor, Old Perth whiskies and other brands was recently relocated to Aberargie. In addition, the new site is the now home to the lovely and new Aberargie Distillery, which back in November filled its first cask of new make spirit. Aberargie single malt whisky is now sleeping. That’s quite a year in anyone’s book.
We’re rather fond of the bottlings that come from Morrison & MacKay. Not least the superb Carn Mor bottlings that come in three guises:- Strictly Limited, Celebration of the Cask and Black Gold. And they have topped and tailed 2017 here are The Whisky Barrel – January saw the first 2017 bottlings to come through our doors.
Now, we end 2017 with a rather special and one-off Carn Mor Bequest: Chairman’s Legacy, Bowmore 26 year old 1991.
So what is all the fuss about. Well, alongside the minor side issue of setting up a whole new distillery, bottling plant and warehousing, Morrison MacKay’s Chairman, Brian Morrison, is retiring. This is a man with whisky pedigree having been in charge of Morrison Bowmore Distillers before the stepping in of Japan’s Beam Suntory. The Morrison era of Bowmore has very strong status. So it is no surprise that it is a cask of Bowmore 1991 vintage from Brian’s time there has been chosen to mark this occasion and his 5 decades in the whisky industry. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a taste.
Tasting 1991 Vintage Bowmore Whisky – it’d be rude not to
So what is this Bowmore like 26 year old 1991 Carn Mor Bequest like? Distilled 10th May 1991. Matured in 4 bourbon barrels and married to yield 565 bottles at 42.9% – natural cask strength. Bottled on 20th November 2017. This is a unique bottling. The Carn Mor Bequest label is usually limited to the Asian market but for this release it’s going global for a one-off.
On the nose, you know you are nosing an early 1990s Bowmore. Quite light with a delicate fruity note. Slight hints of the Islay atmosphere with a touch of coastal salt. On the palate you are given the pleasure of a pleasant perfume of ripe melon, rose petal and a menthol crispness it up. And the finish bring a very light hint of smoke and warming woodiness. Surprisingly refreshing and lingers on the tongue releasing some more soft fruits.
Morrison and MacKay have a strong and deserved reputation among the indy whisky followers. And for good reason; good whisky. This one is no different. It’s a match of uniqueness in presentation, excellent whisky and sentiment to boot. Happy retirement to Brian – I’m sure he’ll have a nip or two of this to see him off.