Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
- Brand: Bowmore
- ABV: 43%
This review is from a Bowmore set of three mini-bottles, also including the 12 and 18 versions. From what I can gather, this 'Darkest' version of the 15 is basically the previous packaging incarnate of the current 15. Web chat suggests the Darkest version was slightly better but how much is due to batch variation as opposed to any significant recipe change is anyones' guess.
I was pleasantly surprised by the 12 so how is the 15? I had a wee taste last night so the bottle has had time to open up a tad. Review is neat.
Nose - ashy, sooty and somewhat grimy peat that nips at the nose (very much my kind of peat) with some dark, jammy red fruit notes. Dried fruits too, with some figs and prunes, boozy Genoa cake and even a touch of musty old leather; all very nice so far. Add a little wood spice and dark chocolate and voila.
Taste - sweet arrival with some rich dark cherry jam and treacle toffee, then the peat starts to nip pleasingly at the back of the tongue. More dried fruit as it develops and, despite the mouth feel being on the thinner side, there is this sweet, tongue gripping feel that follows through. Drying.
Finish - medium with more bitter chocolate and some heavy, but not unpleasant tannins.
This is definitely a step up from the 12 and I really like the marriage of peat and sherry casks here. I'm assuming that the extra three years have been spent in sherry casks and it has worked a treat. I see why they went for the Darkest moniker as there is definitely a dark, treacley note that runs through this that is very enjoyable. I rarely focus on presentation, or at least lament it, but here, like the 12, I can't help but feel an abv of 48%+ and NCF would have made this one absolutely stellar. As it is, it's very good but put this next to, say, Glen Scotia 15 and it visibly wilts, especially on mouth-feel.