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- Brand: Bowmore
- ABV: 43%
The last review from a set of mini-bottles - one of those exploration packs (which there should be more of, in my humble opinion ... ). I was pleased with the 12 and thought the 15 was pretty good, so how does the elder sibling fare?
Review is neat.
Nose - Sweeter than the 15 with a little minty sherry poking through. Some wood spice and sweet, syrupy plum and raspberry jams. This doesn't feel like someone tipped sherry straight into the bottle though, it's nicely integrated. A good whack of tangy, ashy peat running through it too. Slightly more 'coastal' than the 12 and 15. Dark chocolate and sandalwood.
Taste - Sweet with the jams being up front on the arrival then the dark chocolate, spice - nutmeg, clove a touch of mint and more sandalwood - with that tangy peat smoke note hitting the tongue.
Finish - Medium to long with bitter chocolate, dark tannins and a lovely tang of peat.
This is perhaps moving to the 'too sweet' side for me but it is well-tempered by the tangy, ashy peat notes. It's nicely balanced and I can certainly see the appeal. It's very similar to the 15 actually but with a more upfront and 'fresh' sherry influence.
To summarise all three: the 12 was a light, peated whisky that would make a decent session dram. The 15 Darkest was very good, if a tad light, and this one is basically a sweeter style of the 15. I really like the style of peat in these Bowmores and I was surprised how peated they came across, given it's usually deemed a lightly peated Islay whisky. I won't be searching out a bottle but if I see the 15 on offer (it was £40 recently), and the chatter on recent batches is positive, I might be tempted.