Thinking of starting a whisky collection? Bowmore will get your (ice) ball rolling

Bowmore whisky

Cabinet of curiosities

In 1961, some longforgotten member of the Bowmore distillery team filled two ex-bourbon hogshead casks with whisky and stacked them inside one of the world’s oldest scotch maturation warehouses. A half-century later, only 200 bottles worth of precious liquid remained. In December 2016, Bowmore released the fourth and final 50-bottle edition of that hallowed 50-year-old expression, one of the rarest single-malt scotches ever brought to market.

Historical significance and scarcity aside, the whisky itself is a thing of sublime complexity and balance. Most remarkable is how not old this expression tastes.

This 50-year-old opens with hints of papaya, pineapple and black truffle that give way to an array of ripe fruit flavours and a gentle peaty smokiness. There are no discordant notes. The crescendo-like finish is evocative of warm pecan pie and caramel candy, with just a trace of oatmeal at the last.