As soon as I heard this Bowmore 12 Enigma was going to be replaced by the NAS Black Rock, I decided to look for one. Compared to the normal 12yo, a higher percentage of sherry matured Bowmore was used in this version so a whole liter for €40,- felt like a great deal.
Nose: Blueberry muffin, flower honey, dried fruit, big old oak, barley, vanilla, brown sugar, tart lemon, furniture polish and just a tiny wiff of peat smoke somewhere in the back. There is a nice unexpected developement too, after 10 minutes its different. Less fruity, more serious.
Palate: soft, very clean arrival, slowly the flavors pop up one by one and get together for a nice glowing mid-palate sensation. First I get the sweet fruity bubblegum and flowery notes and later the darker side shows up with musky old wood, tar, coals, smoke and overripe peach, warm forest fruit and toasted almonds and pecans. Its on the sweet side first, but gets dryer as soon as the musky wood comes in. The citric and vanilla notes from the bourbon casks are constantly battling for recognition with the dominant sherry cask flavors, but it works. Very much in balance. The peat is nicely interwoven and gives everything a nice roasted edge.
Finish: Dry and with a comfortable glowing zing. Medium length with bitter oak, wet smoke, ash and fresh peat flavors.
Hmmm that was fun! Its not a very difficult or complex malt, but all the flavors inside get a place to shine eventually. Its very fruity, almost candy like, but also the peat journey in this is interesting: almost nothing in the nose, in balance on the palate, dominant in the finish.
I'm a sucker for Peated spirit Sherry cask combinations and even tho its friendly character, this one certainly didn't dissapoint. To be honest, I really liked it and it made me think of the Nikka Yoichi NAS a bit.