Bowmore Tempest batch 2 vs. batch 3 comparison review.

    Bowmore Tempest batch 2 vs. batch 3 comparison review.

I’ve not tried many Bowmore’s in my relatively short Whisky journey up to date. Tonight is a change for that. I’ve heard many a good thing about the Bowmore tempest and always wondered if there was ever much a difference between batch releases of many whiskies. So it’s a little bit of an experiment on a couple of levels for me. How different are the batches? And what is this Bowmore expression like anyway?

Bowmore Tempest batch 2
10 years old – first fill bourbon cask
56%

£44.95 at Master of Malt (currently with free sample of batch 3)

Colour

Gold. (Ah hem. Ok. Already slightly miffed. Why go to the bother of cask strength/craft presentation and then add colouring – the back of the tube confirms the addition of E150a in German).

Nose

Bursting with smoke and layers of fruit. Smoke dominates. Vanilla. Some muted citrus. Wood spices. With time in the glass the smokiness tones down a little. More bonfire than medicinal. Grass starts coming forward the longer it stands. More time stood. Less smoke. Now there is buttery popcorn and creamy vanilla.

Palate

Fruity. Oranges and sweet lemons. Vanilla. More savoury than sweet. Mouth coating (more than b3).

Finish

Long. Fruit sticks in there. Not as dry as b3. Gets dryer later in the finish. Something else sticks around. Wood/sawdust?

Adding water

A few drops into my dram. Fruity vanilla custard creams. A little bonfire in the background. Palate is still rich and sublime. Finish has a little more peaty grass twang to it. Vanilla custard right at the end. Less wood.

Bowmore Tempest batch 3
10 years old – first fill bourbon cask
55.6%

£44.95 at Master of Malt (currently with free sample of batch 2)

Colour

Amber+ (oooo. Learn and adapt. Good stuff)

Nose

Lemons on a fire. Citrus fruit dominates. Some bonfire smoke there but fruit is the order of the day for this one. With time in the glass more medicinal peat notes are apparent. Still citrus ruling. Some crime brûlée and toffee is jumping around now. Keeps changing! Little more time. Citrus still rules. Very little smokiness. Some grass. Creamier and settled.

Palate

Creamy lemon rind. Peat heat. Quite sweet. Rich. Fulfilling mouth. Honey and toffee.

Finish

Long. Grassy. Drying. Wood chips.

Adding water

A few drops into my dram. A little more bonfire. A little less citrus. On the tongue it’s sweeter and has a lot more of a undiluted batch 2 about it! Finish is similar. Less grass notes. But the same drying woodiness.

Comparison

Well. I’m surprised and not. It’s a strange one. I was expecting little differences. And I got little differences. I think the biggest surprise was with Bowmore generally. I don’t know why. But I was thinking they would be smokier and harder work. But they are both excellent drams. Well matured. And so damn interesting.

My personal favourite (I am surprised being so critical of colouring. But it goes to show maybe it isn’t always all that!) is batch 2. I think that’s mainly a flavour thing for me as it is much richer and rewarding to me to explore. Batch 3 seems a little too much sour then sweet for my taste buds. But I’m sure some will think the complete opposite! 🙂

Conclusion

Having never really experienced Bowmore before I’m not sure if its normally a smoke monster or more of a subtle smokey whisky. These are definitely not smoke monsters in my opinion. They are exceptionally interesting drams though. Complex as hell and both quite different and can be spent a lot of time and patience with. Not ones to just drink. There is far too much to explore here. Quite a phenomena.

With batch 4 just around the corner I’m very interested to see how this dram evolves.

Samples purchased from Master of Malt

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