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Bowmore 15 Year Old Laimrig batch 1

Average score from 9 reviews and 9 ratings 80

Bowmore 15 Year Old Laimrig batch 1

Product details

  • Brand: Bowmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 53.7%
  • Age: 15 year old

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@Pierre_W
Bowmore 15 Year Old Laimrig batch 1

Bowmore Laimrig was first released in 2009 and an annual batch has been available since 2011, however there was no batch number on my bottle. Bowmore Laimrig was matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished for about a year in ex-sherry butts. It was named after the Gaelic word for ‘pier’.

The nose starts with an alcoholic punch that is quickly followed by flavours of raisins, raspberry syrup, chocolate and cherries. There is also very light smoke and some earthiness. Altogether this reminds me more of red wine than the sherry influence that I would have expected.

The palate is medium-bodied and spicy. There are more cherries and raisins, followed by liquorice and ginger, together with plenty of tannic notes.

The finish is of medium length and warming. Towards the end this becomes quite herbal and ends on notes of cherries and grass.

This is an intriguing and complex Bowmore expression, in my opinion much more interesting than the fare that we usually get offered from this distillery. These are big and bold flavours that go well together and are superbly balanced. I will make sure to secure another bottle when the next release comes out.

I picked up a bottle of this in Calgary in 2013 and the next release at the LCBO in 2014 but I haven't seen it since. I'm almost done the first bottle and have not yet tried the second one.

This is a 15 YO Scotch (unless they have gone NAS since my last purchase) which blows away their 15 YO darkest, which I did not like at all.

I do agree with that, @Nozinan. In comparison, the 15yo Darkest falls flat. I am not a Bowmore fan but I really liked the Laimrig.

@hunggar

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.

@Hunggar No ashes? For how long your bottle has been opened? I am asking because my bottle changed alot in the first month and stabilised after three months, but was at its peak after 3 weeks and up to 6 weeks. Of course, that is for somebody like me who simply adores the mix of smoke, ash and a big salty mineral. As I wrote before that is like sucking pebbles on the beach. So, for me, your very good review is spot on for a bottle that have air for more than 3 months and since you don't even memtionned smoke , I would go easily over 6 months. Am I right?

@Robert99, that's very perceptive of you. Yes, my bottle has been open for over three months. Roughly 4=5, I'd say. For me this isn't a particularly "mineraly" whisky, but I certainly see where you're coming from.

@Nozinan, given that price difference between the Darkest and Laimrig, there's no question that Laimrig is the better deal. I consider it better than the Darkest, but I don't hate the Darkest. I feel that more is gained than lost with the higher abv, but I do like the oakiness in the Darkest that doesn't come through as much in the Laimrig.

But overall the Laimrig is one of the best Bowmores I've had in recent memory.

@Robert99

This is a review of bottle 17734 of 18000. It has been open for a month and is 85% full. I am reviewing this bottle now because in the first month it was all over the place. I make a rule for myself by note judging a whisky on the first drink of the bottle but with this one my hope went skyrocketting because the first drink taste like an incredible vating of Glenfarclas and Islay. The second was a terrible and big ashtray, the word balance was not even conceivable. The third, a little ashtray and then it was like sucking pebbles. And now the fourth one. It seems it has arrived!

The nose. First a nice cigar smoke with sherry notes and minerals. Swirl it and you have redberries and vanilla. Let it rest and you get dattes figs and a little of chocolate. At the end some hay that I don't like here.

Palate. First a burst of white pepper and then a noble wood, the smoke and the fruits (redberries and dattes). Alot more sweet than expected. All is very much integrated making difficult to identify each part. It is very smooth. Only the final heat on the gums gives away the ABV, but it is going down without the slightest burn.

The finish is the opposite of edgy; I would say surrounding you like a cocoon. The fruits are coming back with nice campfire ashes as background. It is on the light side but quite long at the same time. Beautifull.

Conclusion. I prefer the nose right after the pour or after alot of air, not quite in the middle where the hay takes over, but the palate is better with some air. It is strange to say for a scotch at 53.7% ABV, but I would say it's a comforting dram for the winter next to the chemney fire. It is not a Wowing (I am just having fun with this word) whisky, it is a soothing one, so I will not say cheers to you, I will just stay quiet and drink...

@Nozinan On whiskybase they refered at batch 2 of 2011 being at 54.4 ABV and at batch 3 of 2012 being at 53.7ABV. On many sites, you will find this year release being at 54.1 ABV. All the reviews I find in 2013 were about the 2012 release. So if Bowmore release the Laimrig in fall maybe what they call this year release is the 2013. To be even more confused, the Laimrig seems to be release for the first time in 2009 for the Sweedish market and it seems there has been some special releases for the Feist Isle annual festival. In any case, I feel I have a 2012 what ever batch number you call it. It is 53.7 ABV and it's in the right time frame.

@Nozinan I do agree that it is fun as well to speak or mind on Connosr. Your answer makes me smile; I enjoyed it. I will never say to any member to shut up, except to myself. My point was first that we should keep our focus on the dram and on the pleasure it provides us and,second, that we shouldn't take ourselves to seriously. And if we can have a little fun with or comments why not? Like you, I am learning a ton on whisky and life with those discussions and I am too tasting by "procuration", so take a good one for me tonight! Santé! (I have accent on my Ipad but the autocorrect is hell when you are using French and English)

@whiskydallas

Let me first say that Bowmore has not been on the top of my favourite Islay distilleries. This sherried expression however is a stunner. Neat, the peat, smoke, soot hit you first, followed by dark chocolate and sweet fruit ,hints of cherry and burnt sugar marshmallow and spice. This was made for adding water water as this just allows the fruit and chocolate to melt seamlessly with the smoke and peat in perfect balance. Beware as this becomes easy to drink. Absolutely delicious.

@percyhedgehog, I would recommend grabbing a three-pack of the Bowmore Miniatures (12,15,18) if you can find them and try them first. If nothing else, you'll appreciate the quality of the Laimrig even more.

I would like to get miniture collections from different distilleries, but here in Ontario they seem to be available around Christmas. None available now.

@MaltActivist

I'll be honest. I'm not a huge fan of Oloroso finishes. Not because I don't like Oloroso but I feel that some less than stellar whisky makers tend to hide behind it's bold flavors and use it as a shield to mask their spirit.

However, when it's done well it can be an absolute treat. And I think it takes special kind of guts (read skill) to harvest the spirit when the Oloroso influence is just right.

And this exactly what the Laimrig does.

Poured out at a cask strength of 53.7% my bottle is 11780 of 18000 making this batch number 3. The first batch was a run of 4500 bottles available only in Sweden. I don't know why. The second batch was 15000 bottles and literally flew off the shelves. This one is a larger run and I suspect flew off even faster.

Matured for 14 years in ex-bourbon barrels and then a year in ex-Oloroso this is a beautifully balanced dram.

Nose: As one would expect from Oloroso maturation. Chocolate. Burnt orange peel. Dark rum bananas sprinkled with cinnamon. Dark figs, raisins, cherries with a hint of peat and dry spicy leather.

Palate: Chocolate fudge with sweet cinnamon and dark honey. Woody molasses. Dry honey. Dry spices. I like that it does not fight with water. A few drops will open up it's sweeter profiles and make the delivery more creamy.

Finish: Long. Dry. Spicy honey on wood.

Brilliantly crafted spirit. Love it!

Great review and I agree a splendid spirit, with or without water! a note on the pricing though... I noticed that the price for $100 in Ontario seems like a bargain. I know what you're thing LCBO /bargain? sounds odd. But M of M is currently selling at $119

I really enjoy batch 2 (still have 1/2 a bottle or so left). Glad to hear the third batch maintains its quality.

Interestingly, 155 bottles of batch 3 still available in Ontario. A funny thing about pricing. It's probably overpriced at $100.05, but only $4.10 more than the 15 year old Darkest. And the difference in flavour is definitely worth more than 5 dollars...

@Nemesis101

I have finally obtained a bottle of this most elusive Bowmore expression. Having heard such good things about and after searching for well over a year I'm really looking to sampling this.

Soft sweet ripe red fruits dominate the nose with raisins in there and cherries - very clearly sherry. Woodsmoke then drifts over it before a treacle edge makes an appearance. Becomes sweeter, mellower and more pudding-like after time. (I should say a tiny drop of water has been added).

More of the same on the palate but it all arrives at once, minus the smokiness which holds off at first. Treacle pudding flavoured with ripe fruits. Or is it more like Christmas pudding flavoured with treacle? Quite chewy. We then get a really intense classic Bowmore smoke - much more so than on the Darkest, (which despite being a long-time favourite of mine tastes like pure syrup in comparison).

Finish - unexpectedly bitter at first! Not that good TBH. 2nd attempt - smoky but with a bit more sweet fruit there. But still a bitter edge. Quite drying, medium-long. 3rd attempt, (10 mins later) provides a much nicer finish with the bitterness only very subtle. (*note to self - remember to let whiskies breathe for a few minutes.)

Well was it worth the wait - definitely. Did it live up to expectations - just about. Worth the price, (£90) - it's overpriced but I was prepared to pay it for the opportunity. I do think £70 would be more reasonable however.

Anyway this is Bowmore Darkest on steroids. A much more robust whisky yet still with enough subtleties to keep your interest up.

Yep Batch 3 (I think) - this year's release. The Whisky Exchange looked to have sold out in about a week however so glad I grabbed one when I did.

I would really like to try Devil's Cask too if I can ever find a bottle. But not for stupid money.

Has it really been 7 months since my review-- and my last drop? Too long. This was excellent. @Nozinan What is the price in Calgary? If anyone can find a good friend in Sweden (one of few recipient countries), I saw their price is <65 GBP. (And that's even in a land of very high alcohol tax.) It would be nice to see this as widely available as the Darkest. And it would be nice to see the global "law of one price" manifested.

@vanPelt

(This Laimrig commemorated Feis Ile 2011.)

First vapor: Cherry-cedar and leather.

Nose: Sharp bitter dark chocolate or dark roasted coffee beans. Further breathing shows toasted walnuts, dates, and orange peel. Even more breathing brings out salty toffee as the dominant character with cherry (the other scents remain, as accents).

Palate: Spash of sour dark cherry, maybe a touch of pleasant bitterness (cinders and cedar-- and darkest chocolate). It is rich and becomes peppery with ginger. Walnut comes in, while the cherry turns to red apple and the ginger turns to clove.

Finish: Peppery clove with toasted walnut, and maybe dates. Long lasting impression of plums stewing with burnt clove.

No doubt that this is the "grown up" version of the Bowmore 15 Darkest expression. Drinking them side-by-side, the Darkest's aroma almost seems mellow-- softly and roundly sweet, rather than sharp. The Laimrig's palate is firmer and has a bit more ash, but it cuts down on the cedar and other less welcome bitters. It also seems fruitier and nuttier, which I appreciate. A couple drops of water preserve all the good character, while softening both the aroma's astringency and the palate's hot ginger. And vanilla is brought out in both these stages, welcomingly. I think this is where the dram is enjoyed best: more concentrated than the Darkest, but just a tad more relaxed than the full Laimrig impact.

@chrisrbarrett

Sherry butt. This is what a sherry monster is all about. Maybe the slightest hint of iodine coming through. Flavours echo sherry again, with a slightly touch of burnt wood and seaside. Long finish showing more of the seaside flavours.

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