Bowmore 10 Year Dorus Mor
Founded in 1779 by John Simpson, Bowmore Distillery has stood on the shores of Loch Indaal for over two centuries. The sea loch slopes steeply as it opens into the Atlantic Ocean, steadily falling from a depth of barely 10 meters to more than 40 meters. As a result of this slope, along with the its unique geography, the loch suffers from tidal streams, eddies and heavy overfalls, making its waters especially hazardous.
Bowmore Dorus Mor 10 Year Old Small Batch Single Malt Scotch Whisky Release No. 1 pays tribute to Bowmore Distillery’s location and the loch’s treacherous waters (Dorus Mor means “rough, wild water” in ancient Gaelic). Dorus Mor was developed by Rachel Barrie, the first female master blender in the world of Scotch whisky (Barrie had previously helped Ardbeg create some of their most popular offerings). “An enigmatic taste adventure,” Barrie says of the whisky, Bowmore Dorus Mor is made from barley sourced from Scotland and Islay. Once the barley has been harvested, it is malted at Bowmore’s own malthouse (only a handful of distilleries in Scotland continue to malt their own barley) before being dried over a peat flame. Unlike some other distilleries on Islay, however, the drying process is much shorter at Bowmore — only 15 hours — and utilizes only half as much peat, resulting in a more robust yet still mild, smoky flavor. Once the barley has been malted and peated, it is fermented and then twice distilled through Bowmore’s copper pot stills.
After the whisky has been distilled, it is aged for ten years in first-fill bourbon casks. The casks are laid to rest in Bowmore Vault No. 1, a dark and damp cellar situated below sea level. As a result, the whisky encapsulates the rugged, stormy sea qualities of Bowmore Distillery — it has robust notes of earthy smoke and salty tang, which are followed by more tame hints of citrus, lemon and oranges. In addition, touches of milk chocolate and almond lead a to a slightly fruity yet still smoky finish.
“Dorus Mor has effervescent waves of citrus and ocean spice, tempered by warm ripples of smooth vanilla and wispy smoke,” says Barrie. “It’s like being out on a boat in the ocean waves, with bracing sea air, ocean spices and salty drizzle sharpening the senses and clearing the mind. As you get closer to shore, the bright sun breaks through the clouds bringing a satisfying warmth, rewarding you with sun-drenched fruit and vanilla sweetness.”
Following maturation, the whisky is brought to proof with water drawn from the Laggan River. The water, which travels through a number of peat bogs before reaching the distillery, has subtle peaty undertones, which add additional notes of smoke to the whisky. Only 2,400 bottles of this limited edition, small batch whisky were released into the United States.