1999 Bowmore 10 year old E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Cask Murray McDavid Islay Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Elsewhere $70)
Before whisky legend Jim McEwan set off to lead the way at Bruichladdich, he was the master distiller at Bowmore for over twenty years - bringing the reputation of the distillery to the top of the single malt world. Now that he's bottling casks independently with the Murray McDavid project, he finally got the chance to get his hands on some of his old creation and manipulate it to his liking. Taking high quality syrah barrels from the magical appelation of Cote Rotie, Mr. McEwan seasons this solid 10 year Bowmore into something exception and unique. The moderate peat and refreshing brininess of the Bowmore plays wonders against the spice, pepper, and dark berry fruit of the Cote Rotie barrels. An intoxicating crimson hue is the first striking quality of this wonderful malt. The plummy richness of the Cote Rotie is not lost in the salt air and spice of the Bowmore. An exceptional example and a fabulous value.