Whisky Connosr

Bowmore 10 Year Old The Devil's Casks Batch 1

Average score from 3 reviews and 3 ratings 87

Bowmore 10 Year Old The Devil's Casks Batch 1

Product details

  • Brand: Bowmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 56.9%
  • Age: 10 year old

Shop for this

What next?

  • Add to cabinet
  • Add to wish list
Bowmore 10 Year Old The Devil's Casks Batch 1

If you purchased this bottle at auction today, it could cost you as much as $600. Luckily, someone at the LCBO was asleep at the wheel and I paid less than $100 for this (there's weren't many allocated and it was gone very quickly).

There have been two releases of this small batch expression; here we're reviewing the first release. It is matured exclusively in first-fill sherry casks and bottled at cask strength.

The colour is a dark mahogany. On the nose, stewed prunes (in a good way, if that makes any sense), wood stain, leather and peat. Dates, walnuts and very dark chocolate. Chili powder. Deep and rich, and playful! Very enjoyable, especially with water, which brings out herbal notes, overripe banana and cigar box.

On the palate the spice kicks in, with more chili and Sriracha. Heavily sherried - nutty with fruitcake, melted dark chocolate and of course peat. Not overtly smoky though (a little more so with water). Tasty but could use a bit more subtlety.

The finish is salumi with bitter dark roast coffee and hazelnuts. For many, this will be a WOW dram; for me, it is very interesting - there is nothing else quite like it - but it's not totally my style. I would even score the standard 12 years old a little higher. I've poured this for friends and they have loved it, so if you can take out a second mortgage and buy yourself a bottle, you may love it too. Writing for Whisky Advocate, Dave Broom scored this a 90.

Speaking of that second mortgage - this just goes to show how people have more money than brains. It's not Bowmore's fault - they sold this cask strength 10 year old for less than $100. How this managed to get up to the hundreds of dollars at auction is beyond me. People, they just took 10 year old whisky and did a limited expression! Totally bonkers, but it makes me wish I bought a second bottle as an investment (see, I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the problem!)


sample from a friend-

Nose: Ah, refreshing. The peat is obvious and intertwined with rich, lightly salted seaweed. Lemon juice in a general sherry profile. Traces of tobacco. With time, tart cherries and salted strawberries. Milk chocolate. I'm definitely digging it. (with water) A few drops brings out a softer, sweeter peat. The fruits hangs together with malted chocolate.

Palate: Even peatier here, smouldering ashes roasting a spit pig seasoned with a sprig of fresh thyme. Chocolate and stale ginger. The sherry influence emerges into the peat nicely. (with water) Sweeter on entry, though, also tannic dry. Spicier ginger and more unsweetened (?) milk chocolate. Yes, sometimes even my own notes and impressions baffle me.

Finish: I probably should have some sense of what this is. It's just a rich, well-composed, and easily enjoyable pour. It's got a lot of what I like.


This new Bowmore was hype so much that it sold out in a flash. Of the 6.000 bottles, only 540 were destined for the domestic market in the UK and only 48 came to Belgium. The rest? To the States and the Far East, I fear. You can hardly fin dit and on evilBay you already fork over up to 200 EUR for a bottle that retailed at around 70 EUR. Ridiculous, but it is the law of supply and demand, eh? Anyway, when I first read about it, my initial thought was that the name was not very original (seeing as Arran beat them to it, twice, with their Punch Bowl). But of course that says little over the contents.

Well, it is not a peat/sherry bomb on the nose (which I was expecting as it is young Bowmore at cask strength), but a nicely integrated mix of sweet strawberry jam, cake and struck matches (lucifer in Flemish, which seems appropriate) against peat, diesel oil and tobacco leaves. Leather and tar, too. Quite the depth, actually. After a few moments, raisins and cinnamon are added. It becomes darker all the time, if you get my meaning. Roasted nuts. Salted caramel. This litteraly makes me salivate.

Wonderfully oily and immediately sweet and spicy. Nutmeg and ginger in a glass of plum liqueur. Toffee apples and strong tea. Quince. Orange peel. Punchy! So good, that I do not feel like adding water. Organic chocolate, red wine and a powerful dose of peat. Halfway through I get more silt and oak. Some medicinal touches. Boy, this is devilishly good (ok, that was poor wordplay).

The long finish offers a sturdy smokiness on liquorice.

Wonderfully composed Bowmore. I detect the magic hands (I should probably say nose) of Rachel Barrie here. Pity that it is so hard to get hold of. Thanks, Jeroen, for the sample!

Probably the best review I've read on this bottling. Thanks.

Popular Bowmore whiskies