Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry Oloroso
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 95.00
Official website: www.bowmore.com
After the version for the travel retail market (the ‘Deep & Complex’), after the one for the Fèis Ìle in 2023, here at last is in the glass the 18 year old edition for the core range, which was added in 2007 and has since gone through several restyling, until arriving at the one you see above.
Like many of their core bottlings, the colouring is artificial despite the generous ageing, and although there is no precise information on this, it is most likely also chill filtered… but whatever, as I always say the end result counts.
The nose is fragrant, a freshly baked cherry tart with tobacco, roasted juniper, blackberries and candied orange peel with chocolate, all wrapped in a sheet of leather and nori seaweed. A dark, full sweetness with well-balanced touches of roughness. Along the length, the presence of smoke is accentuated, while remaining delicate.
The palate becomes rounder and fuller, full-bodied, bringing back to the centre the dark, dense fruit declined in black cherries, blackberries, dates and plums, with a substantial injection of chocolate and espresso coffee, while a balsamic and at times menthol streak permeates tobacco and smoke, always with subdued tones. Iodine and saline inflections complete a richer picture than on the nose, thanks also to a light spicy contribution of paprika and cumin.
The finish is quite long and dry, saline, continuing the evocations of the palate in a soft declivity.
So much richness and complexity in an elegant, balanced whisky that knows how to be rich without excess and drags in a persuasive dram that could convince the most ardent denigrator of peated whiskies.
And at a price (if you can find it) that cannot be beaten.