Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry Oloroso and PX
Added coloring: No
Average price: € 240.00
Official website: www.bowmore.com
Another special bottling made for Islay’s annual festival, released at the distillery from 27 May in 3,500 bottles at a not-so-cheap price that has become stellar within a short time, and not only in secondary channels.
I can find no indication of cask strength, so let’s assume it isn’t.
The nose is quite intense and textural, with peat soaked in dark notes that push between ocean and land, between grilled seafood (with a handful of scallops) and shrubs tossed in the flames, from the copious decadence of dried figs and dates, sour cherries, blackberry compote and lemon zest. Spices present but not invasive (ginger, nutmeg) with a slight roughness of leather in the background, while on the length a balsamic and mineral breath creeps through the aromas. Full-bodied.
On the palate, it decisively reaffirms its marine essence, with a copious dose of salt on a grill where crispy bacon slices and pineapple are next to seafood, to be dipped in a dense spicy red fruit compote (cloves, pepper, ginger). The earthy and balsamic part appears less incisive but still present, while impressions of chocolate-covered coffee beans and burnt caramel grow. Along the length, the salty and grilled component is increasingly affected by the balsamic part.
The finish is long and balsamic, of seawater, spices, salted caramel, chocolate, black cherry syrup and dull embers.
A rich and full dram, with a great balance between the casks and the distillate, avoiding the pitfalls of sherried excess by bringing out Bowmore’s island nature. Shame about the price, borderline acceptable at the distillery and way out of scale on any other purchasing platform.