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Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each.
Nose: There is the unmistakeably Islay hit of smoked eel, seaweed and medicine, however unlike some of Bowmore's famous Islay cousins such as Ardbeg and Laphroaig, there seems to be a sweeter approach here, more of a candied smoked eel, or an apricot flavour Strepsil. (2.0)
Taste: Immediately the spice and fisherman's friend come to the fore, closely followed by a sweeter accompaniment of banana bread and sweet popcorn. (2.0)
Finish: The peat continues however its banana bread sidekick is a loyal companion and stays by its side. Both seem to work in perfect harmony and stick around for a long and smooth finish, releasing more of the oak as it fades away. (2.0)
Balance: A really fantastic whisky, and one that I can turn to again and again. In terms of Islays, it rests more with the Lagavulin 16 in the sense that it has more strings to its bow than the "Islay" flavours alone, and can incorporate fruits and barleys into the picture as well. However whereas the Lagavulin 16 comes across as more of a noble statesman, there's a disarming and lighter touch here, a compelling mix of youthful zest and elegant sophistication. A whisky fatale if ever there was one. A mainstay on my whisky shelf. (2.5)