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Here’s the Laimrig. It’s a 15 year old Bowmore that’s spent some time in Oloroso sherry casks before being released at cask strength. As a limited annual release it tends to get snatched up pretty quickly, so if you like the Darkest but want some extra bite, keep your eyes open for this one.
Nose: Heavy wine influence. Big, sweet sherry jumps out first. Sultanas, earth, oak, leather, anise, nuts, wild berries, Christmas Cake, cinnamon, and blood oranges. Definitely on the sweet side.
Palate: This is not what I expected after that nose, this is much bigger. Sweet sherry, salted toffee, caramel, dark berries, cherries, raisins, figs, leather, cherry tobacco, vanilla.
Finish: Nice and long. Oak, spices, faint pine, salted toffee, oysters, sweet sherry, figs, dark chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, cinnamon, and cherries.
Thoughts: This is much quieter on the nose than it is in the mouth. When compared to its weaker brother, the Darkest, this is much more substantial. The added alcohol has brought out much more gravity and depth, and toned down some of the heavier oak notes. The marshmallow, sherry, and oyster notes add to the unique profile. If you like the Darkest, then this is a step up, albeit in a different direction.