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Bowmore 15 Year Old Laimrig batch 4

They don't make 'em like...

0 1388

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

19th Apr 2016

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I “studied” hard in preparation of my first bottle of Laimrig. This was a batch I picked up in Calgary a few years ago. I was quite put off by the 12, 15, 18 year old standard bottlings so I was extremely surprised when I liked it so much I picked up a bottle of a different batch at the LCBO the next spring, and that one is still waiting to be opened.

This year’s Laimrig is different. Whereas the other 2 batches I bought had numbered bottles indicating a limited run (“limited” to 18000 bottles the last time it was available here), what the LCBO calls batch IV (nothing listed on the bottles) has no indication of total bottles produced.

I bought and opened this bottle today. It is reviewed in my usual manner. I then poured a small portion of what remains from the first batch I tried, in order to compare batches.


Nose :

Neat - dry peat, not vegetal, sherry, mild hint of prunes. Some caramel and vanilla 21/25

With water - sweetens the nose, some brighter sherry notes, green table grape. With time peat fades into background and integrates nicely with the sherry. (22/25)

Taste:

Neat – strong , bitter peat, sherry bass notes. Very dry, sour note. A bit harsh. 20/25

With water – green grapes on arrival, peat becomes sweeter, less blunt, mouthfeel thins (lighter, more delicate flavour), less caramel. With time in the glass this really becomes smooth. (23/25)

Finish:

Ash, astringent, medium length, a little longer after addition of water. 21/25

Balance - the flavours seem to work well together. Much better with water. 22/25

Score: Neat – 84/100 With water- 88/100


54.4% batch – decanted some time ago and opened March 2013, probably not at its peak.

Nose:

neat - fruity, flint, complex layers of sherry with peat well-integrated in the background. With water there are definite hints of (a good) A’Bunadh.

Taste:

Neat – chocolate, sweet/sour, a little spirity which decreases with time, sherry. water adds a green grape note to the palate, and the chocolate fades a little and becomes darker.

Rich, astringent finish.

At its peak this would have easily been a 90-92 point whisky.


Some thoughts:

This has increased in price by 20% at the LCBO since the last batch was sold 3 years ago.

It is hard to compare the two batches but on initial impression it is as if the newer batch is a little younger, maybe using slightly less active casks. Maybe a larger batch with less of the nuance a smaller run confers.

This Laimrig did not grab me and “wow” me right from the outset like the Tempest V I tried in December did. However, there is a good chance this whisky will evolve now that the bottle is open, and I will definitely have to come back to it.

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13 comments

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan. You sound a little tentative on this one, despite the very respectable score. Look forward to your update after it's had a bit of open time. BTW, I'm green with envy that you still have another one bunkered. Can't get it for love or money out here, couldn't even track it down in Alberta. Cheers.

5 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I think that this is not as new a release as I had thought. There is a review of a batch with similar label and same ABV that calls this a 2014 release:

www.allthingswhisky.com

The site is from Calgary, but I can't confirm if the bottle was purchased there.

5 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

I know Curt of ATW is a big fan. I'm pretty sure KWM usually carries it but it might be getting more difficult to get these days what with worldwide demand starting to exceed supply. Vines Wines in Edmonton doesn't have it either. You're fortunate that the LCBO has it. BC's useless government liquor pimps had it once about 3 years ago. Haven't seen a Springbank here for years either. I guess I'll have to content myself with the Tempest VI which is right up there with the best.

5 years ago 0

Astroke commented

Having my first pour of this as we speak. My Islay journey is really getting interesting. I really like this one!Totally agree that a few drops of water improves this.

Since I have blown my whisky budget to hell over the last 2 weeks, the one bottle will have to do.

5 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Considering the amount that seems to be available to the people of Ontario (and Canada), one bottle may not only have to do, but may be a lucky catch indeed.

I'm very glad you like it. It almost seems like the standard (40-43% ABV) and the special releases (Tempest, Laimrig, Devils's Cask) come from two completely different distilleries.

5 years ago 0

Astroke commented

The only thing for me is, I don't get the heavy smoke/peat profile. I know it's there but this is really sweet with a few drops of water. Dangerously drinkable.

I'll be honest, for me this is better than A'Bunadh, my batch 49 anyway.

5 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

That's high praise. I hear great things about the A'Bunadh 49. Looking forward to trying that in 2 years, 7 days.

5 years ago 0

Astroke commented

Just one of those things I guess. Being a total newbie when it comes to Islay whiskies and finding one I really enjoy is great. Despite my budget destruction I put 1 on hold in Woodbridge.

5 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Good move Astroke. Spring for it if you can, it might be your only chance. Cheers.

5 years ago 0

Astroke commented

Agreed Bluenote. This is a spectacular whiskey for me and who knows when we will see it here in Ontario again and at a some what ok price for the LCBO.

5 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I'm having a half dram tonight with a few drops of water and it's quite pleasant. I'm getting some citrus pith in the finish that wasn't there earlier. I wonder if my kids are mixing my Tempest with my Laimrig...

4 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

The citrus pith is much more prominent now. I can't believe the last time I tasted this was April 2018.

Funny, looking at my review, it tasted a little more like the way I described the other batch, with chocolate on the palate. Neat I would give it high 80s and this could easily be a 90 tonight with water.

I have only 15 cc of this left which I hope to finish in a H2H with the last of the other batch before the new year. So glad I have 2 more bottles of this batch in hiding.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Today I heard some very saddening news. Someone I know died yesterday. It came as a shock, and I have not had much time to reflect on it.

She was not a close friend, but she WAS close to another friend, and I've known her for a few years. I'm still processing what this loss means.

Her favourite distillery was Bowmore. I've decided to pour the last 20 cc of my original Laimrig (

Today I heard some very saddening news. Someone I know died yesterday. It came as a shock, and I have not had much time to reflect on it.

She was not a close friend, but she WAS close to another friend, and I've known her for a few years. I'm still processing what this loss means.

Her favourite distillery was Bowmore. I've decided to pour the last 20 cc of my original Laimrig (the 54.4% batch), and let my mind dwell on this. Maybe I will leave the last few sips for her.

Pam, we will miss you. I will miss you.

8 months ago 4Who liked this?

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