Review: Five New Bottlings by First Editions

The bottlings to be tasted come from a well-respected source (see our search engine with more First Ed. reviews). Our friend Peter Sondheim ( was so kind to provide us with samples. Again I was happy about the overall quality – but no spoiling, here we go:

Craigellachiecraigellachie first editions 19 y.o. First Editions 1995 sherry butt 54,6%

Comment: Vanilla creme, fruits (like a fruit tart with curd), almonds, green grapes and a hint of pepper in the nose. It tastes fruity and spicy, the sherry only leaves traces but adds complexity. The guests on our stand at fairs really liked it.

Score: 88+


Bunnahabhainbunnahabhain first editions 25 y.o. First Editions 1989 refill hogshead 49,8%

Comment: What a great allrounder with a salty soul, and spirit driven: I am getting sea spray (ozon), fudge, caramel, serrano ham, darker and brighter fruits (plums, cherries, pineapples, starfruit) and much more. On the palate this noble Islay dram reveals loads of distillery character in perfet balance. Pure Bunna at a great age.

Score: 89+


Jurafirst editions jura 24 y.o. First Editions 1991 refill hogshead 50,5%

Comment: Spices (chili and leather), canned milk, bananas, plums – it unites different aromas in a great way. The briny taste renders late iodine and peat discretely – perfect balance and elegance! Recommendation.

Score: 90


Tobermoryfirst editions tobermory 21 y.o. First Editions 1994 refill hogshead 58,6%

Comment: A wonderfully maritime dram, there is leather, moss, discrete peat and smoke, apricots and almonds. What an island spicebomb with roasty aromatics, too – a perfect pair for game.

Score: 89+


BowmoreBowmore First Editions 15 y.o. First Editions 2000 refill hogshead 58,7%

Comment: This is another piece of evidence that Bowmore keeps on changing without losing its basic ferny character: the ones from the mid-nineties were rather peaty drams, but since 1999/2000 the ccassis and fruit pronunciation are back in stronger fashion (less peat though). I predict these vintages too taste like the mid 1960-legends one day. Try for yourself: complex, cassis-fruity and soft Islay-characteristics. Bowmore is such a single single malt. Daddy like (sorry 😉 )!

Score: 89

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