The Master #5: Bowmore 1996, 23 y.o. Carn Mor PX Cask 53.4%


Bowmore Distillery is truly one of the greats, not just on Islay but of any whisky distillery.

Claimed to first have started distilling in 1779, it picked up real attention in 1837 when the influential blenders William and Jas Mutter purchased it. The bolder smoky flavours of Bowmore even found friends in the Royal Family. In 1963 its reputation grew through the purchase by Stanley P. Morrison.

Bowmore at the time was producing some of the best whisky anybody had made before or since. They are also credited with launching the Super-Premium whisky category, with their famous Black Bowmore in 1994 selling for the sum of 100 pounds — a sum never seen before for a Single Malt at the time!

Carn Mor is the brand of Single Cask releases by Morrison and Mackay, a Scottish independent bottler, managed by members of the Morrison family, the same who used to own Bowmore before its purchase by Beam Suntory.

Sweet and smoky do not always go together, but when it works it REALLY works. This 23 years old entirely in a Pedro Ximenez sherry butt. The smoke and fruit work out brilliantly for an after-dinner dram.

Share only with close friends.


Tasting notes are a guideline only. You may describe it differently.


A thick, full-bodied dram. Rich fruits backed up by gentle smokiness adding intrigue.


Lots of red and dark fruits, with strong rich sherried notes.


The smokiness comes more to the fore. A bonfire on the beach gently fading as the night draws in.