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Bowmore 15 Year Old - Darkest

Uptown Funk

11 1487

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

23rd Aug 2021

0

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    87

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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.

Tasting Notes

  • 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.

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14 comments

Astroke commented

87, I could only imagine your score of Bowmore 15 Laimrig batch 4, 54.1%

29 days ago 3Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@OdysseusUnbound I like it, but at about 82-84 points. At 46% I would probably rate at as high as you did. I had the 18 recently and I would not not buy it again. The 12 is ok, but the 15 is the only one I would buy again. Now the Laimrig 15, that’s a totally different animal.

Taste is subjective, and if you like it, enjoy.

Cheers.

29 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Astroke High abv does not always translate to “excellent whisky” in my experience. Alberta Premium 20 Year was an awful whisky and I don’t think a higher abv would have made me enjoy it. Ditto for the infamous Lambertus. I would like to experience this whisky at 48%-52% abv but it remains eminently enjoyable at 43% imho.

28 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound A fair statement. But no one ever fixed whisky by drowning it in added water either...

28 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan Definitely not. But there seems to be a growing contingent of people (not necessarily on this site) who will say (read the following in a thick Scots accent) “If it’s nae Cask Strength, it’s CRAAAAPPPP!!” and I don’t think that’s a fair position to take. Yes, all things being equal a higher abv is preferable but economic considerations come into play as well. I paid about $100 for this whisky, if I recall correctly, and that’s a pretty good price for a 15 year old single malt in Ontario. Bumping it up to 48% abv would undoubtedly put the price up.

28 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I paid about that for the Laimrig. Cask strength and delicious. But that was a few years ago.

Next time I open a Laimrig (when @BlueNote is in town), I will have to pour off a sample for you so you can know what real Bowmore tastes like…

27 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Astroke Noted. As soon as I get myself a Delorean with a functional Flux Capacitor, I’ll travel back in time and snag a few bottles of Laimrig at a reasonable price. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

26 days ago 4Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@OdysseusUnbound When I crack this last bottle I have, I will make sure you get a sample. There are several people on this site that you know that have bottles, so there is a strong chance you will try it one day. Bowmore went down the tubes for me when they discontinued Devil's Cask, Tempest and Laimrig which were all reasonably priced.

26 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound pick up some more for me, as well as some Stagg and a few of the LCBO's Black Bowmores they sold for $100 apiece in the 1990s...

25 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@BlueNote I may need to generate more than 1.21 gigawatts (pronounced “jigawatts” of course) to haul all that whiski back to the future.

20 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound

You don't need to bring them back. Just store them in safe locations for us to "find" in the future present.

20 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan Hmmmmmm, we’re drifting into Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure territory here. Let me check all my sci-fi time travel paradoxes and get back to you….

20 days ago 1Who liked this?

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