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Bowmore 10 Year Old The Devil's Casks II

Average score from 3 reviews and 3 ratings 88

Bowmore 10 Year Old The Devil's Casks II

Product details

  • Brand: Bowmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 56.3%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Bowmore 10 Year Old The Devil's Casks II

I am on Islay this week and got to try Bowmore's Devil's Cask II release. This was another 10-year old small batch release, launched in 2014, that was exclusively matured in first fill sherry casks, quite unusual for Bowmore. The first release was launched in 2013, the third one is due this week. According to the story behind these releases the devil visited Islay but got chased away by an angry mob. To escape, the devil hid in a cask of Bowmore whisky ready to be shipped to the mainland.

The nose is slightly rubbery and lush, with notes of prunes, some liquorice, and soft smoke in the background. With water flavours of fudge and caramel come to the fore, followed by notes of coffee and chocolate.

The palate is medium-bodied and spicy. Without water this is quite a 'closed' affair, not revealing much more than the ubiquitous prune flavours. With water there are raisins and chocolate, tarry peat smoke hovering in the background.

The finish is long and warming. The prune and smoke flavours are back and last to the very end.

This dram was challenging to deconstruct, and it took some water as well as time to let it breathe before I could get at the underlying flavours. Overall this is very well balanced, with the sherry and smoky flavours perfectly integrated. Certainly one of the better expressions of Bowmore that I had the opportunity to taste.

Great review. I really want to try this one.


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.


So as I mentioned in my previous review.. tonight was the night of the Devil's.. I started with Arran and now time for this Bowmore.. which is a small batch release matured exclusively in first fill Sherry casks. That by the way is pretty evident from the lovely ruby color that this spirit possesses.

Nose: Bowmore often mentions maturing its finest whiskies in its legendary No. 1 vaults by the sea.. well if you ever wanted some help in imagining how that place would have felt.. this expression can give you nose... the smells of that peaty spirit maturing in those sherry casks.. along with rows of the other casks.. the dampness that comes from being right next to sea.. it all right there. After this brief introduction comes the first fill sherry influence... the cotton candy.. maple syrup.. black grapes.. basically a lot of sweetness.. and there's a touch of perfection to it

Palate: The darkness of this expression slowly begins to reveal itself further as you move to the palate a lot more of those black grapes and sweet dark berries along with some mild notes of peat. This one has a very rich palate with each flavor coming out nice and strong. Initially the spice is more of clove and as the spirit oxidizes its more peppery spice that comes through. This is accompanied by some liquorice too.

Finish: A fairly long finish .. which leaves a mildly dry feeling in your mouth .. with some wood shaving and the final showing of the darkness with some sweet dry black raisins

Even at 56.3% there's an exceptional smoothness to this both on the palate as well as on the finish.

On this particular night .. its this Devil from Islay that has got me smiling 'devil'ishly at the end of it all!!

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