Bowmore is not everybody’s favorite Islay whisky. You can read many horror stories on the internet: violet or geranium notes (better off in a flower vase) and a heavy hand on artificial coloring. I bought my first Bowmore about twenty years ago in a duty-free shop. Bowmore Surf was very quaffable, light (almost thin), and even had a slightly salty flavor. Time to get back to Bowmore! Another duty-free piece, a ten-year-old Bowmore, aged in Spanish oak sherry casks: “Dark & Intense. Exclusive to the Global Traveller.” Well, I have not travelled at all in Covid times and bought the liter bottle online. What could go wrong? Bottle open for three weeks, half full (or empty). Nose: a kind of blunt, “band-aidy” peatiness (subdued if compared to Laphroaig or Ardbeg) and the sherry cask is present. I also smell fruit notes: mirabelle (think about Slivowitz) – an interesting combination. Palate: Wow! This is 40%, but it burns! I do not want to swish it too much. The liquid does not stick to the inside to my mouth when I think about the term “mouth-coating.” There is some sourness and bitterness in the taste giving me the desire to get it down quickly. Alcohol and oakiness shout out louder than anything else. Since this is low ABV, I do not dare to add water though this may smoothen this whisky a little bit. Finish: Not much to write home about. I cannot get rid of this “burning feeling.” This is raw and very alcoholic, but does not linger on. I was excited about drinking this whisky, but felt that, overall, I think it is unfinished, as if someone tried to save a not very good whisky by letting it age in sherry casks. Curiously, for me it tastes like a younger whisky with a higher ABV. In summary, I will finish the bottle, but I may think about cocktails (I never do that!) or use it for cooking (my second passion after whisky), though I do not know if I would ever try “Bowmore Pine-Fired Mussels with Spear-Leaved Orache” (google it! Sounds delicious!).