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It's been a month since my last review. Not that I was short of any whiskies to drink. Far from it. It's just that I like to take an alcohol sabbatical once every year just to take a break and replenish my self both physically and mentally.
My first two weeks go by in a flash and I barely even think about what I've given up. In the third week I start preparing for all the expressions I'm going to be tasting once the month is up. By the fourth I can't wait to get back to doing what I love the most.
And so it's really important that I pick a solid expression that I know for sure will not disappoint. There's nothing like waiting for something for such a long time and discovering it tastes like piss. I hate that.
So I decided to pick the latest Bowmore Tempest Batch 5 as my first whisky of the new season. Because I figured if it's anything like the last batch it was going to be cracking.
Matured for ten years in Bowmores' legendary No1 Vault in first-fill bourbon barrels this is allegedly a small batch release. I say allegedly because I don't know how many bottles make up a small batch. I think anything under 6000 should be small. I think.
Nose: Quite lovely. Very fresh. It's sweet, almost winey. Like a tart chardonnay. Mixed with a lot of bright lime juice and mild vanilla extract. Dark cocoa tossed in coarse sea salt and crushed cornflakes. Cinnamon sprinkled on juicy nectarines.
Palate: Quite a kick! Strong lemon sweet candies and fiery white pepper prickles. Mandarins become the sweeter citrus. Dark unsweetened cocoa. Adding a few drops of water makes it more herbaceous and adds a touch of garam masala. (I prefer it without the water, though.)
Finish: Long. Very oily. Very chewy. Salty. Peppery with honey cocoa.
This is a great series by Bowmore (who I'm increasingly beginning to like) that is nurtured well and executed with amazing skill.