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Eighteen months ago I was very impressed with the Bowmore Devil's Casks, which were so hyped that they sold out in no time. Prices went through the roof overnight (tripled from the original retail price of 70 EUR). Many were relieved when the second batch was announced, but unfortunately it was treated in the very same way as batch 1. So I guess I should be lucky that my Dutch whiskybuddy Imanuel scored me a sample.
The nose is a sophisticated mix of strawberry jam, tobacco and rum raisins, countered by diesel fumes and a freshly struck match. Roasted nuts. Something salty. It has a maritime side to it, but the sweet fruit is in the driver’s seat. Cloves and cinnamon are the spices on duty. It is very similar to batch 1, but just a tad sweeter.
It is oily and punchy on the palate. Spicy as well: think cloves, cinnamon and some ginger. The oak and peat speak immediately and make it somewhat salty and mildly drying. Luckily the sweet fruit is there to keep it balanced. Again strawberry, but also candied blood oranges and plums. Midpalate I get some hints of red wine, but it does not go over the top. A touch medicinal towards the end.
The finish is long and spicy, but does remain a battle between salt and sweet till the death.
I find it a touch sweeter than its predecessor, but just as good. Thanks, Imanuel! This was my 80th Bowmore, by the way. I could have done worse.