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Bowmore seems to be the overlooked middle child of Islay. A lot of people hate them, seemingly for no reason. I get that most of their core expressions are bottled at a low abv. While that’s disappointing I enjoy most of their offerings nonetheless. There’s a time and place for everything. I should note that my bottle did not say “Darkest” on it, so I’m not entirely sure if this is the same whisky as the one released under that label.
- Nose (undiluted): gentle smoke, peat, and a little iodine. There’s more seaweed here than in the 12 year. With a little rest in the glass, there’s some dark fruit (raisins, dates, figs) but the sherry profile doesnt dominate in any way.
- Palate: very tame arrival, but there is some oiliness to it, a bit of smoke, cinnamon, and some faint berries (blackberries and raspberries) appear. Interesting.
- Finish: things get interesting here. The smoke reappears along with the iodine-laced peat, followed by what I can only describe as a big hit of beef jerky. That’s a good thing, in my humble opinion. As the jerky fades, the signature “citrus and sugar cookies” note I get from Bowmore appears and lingers longer than I would have expected.
I enjoyed this Bowmore far more than I thought I would. While it’s not a Cask Strength offering, there’s more than enough complexity going on for me to believe that I’ll be purchasing this one again.