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Bowmore's Tempest range is an annual small batch release of 10 year old malt and is non-chill filtered. This particular bottle is Batch No. 3. The packaging says it is like "straight out of a first fill Bourbon cask in our No. 1 vaults" (which, by the way, are below sea level!) It is also one of the more reasonably priced of the Bowmore non-core releases, and I've been dying to try it for years. Today, after seeing The Avengers at the Varsity Cinemas in Toronto, I found a bottle a a nearby LCBO. Lucky me!
The colour is pale straw, and clings to the glass due to the high alcohol level (though I don't think it is cask strength). The nose is fantastic: wet grass, kosher salt, burnt rubber, hint of peat, orange pith. Water brings out more citrus. Lovely.
The alcohol heat really hits you in the mouth, and carries along a long-dead campfire. The orange notes are replaced by a stronger lemon zing. Beautifully tart. Some iodine instigates the mouth-drying. More Islay peat in the mouth than on the nose, which of course I love. Water tames the alcohol and improves it nicely.
I could hold this taste in my mouth forever, and I nearly can: the finish is long and musty, it fills your being with a citrusy smoke, sprinkled with nutmeg. This is a beautifully balanced, cohesive, delicious Scotch. This dram has exceeded my expectations. Bowmore 12 was one of my first Islay malts, and I believe this could be the only other Bowmore I've had, and I love it. It is young and it tastes young and in a very good way. Love it!