Bowmore and more and more (Devil’s Cask, Laimrig & Hand-Filled distillery only)
I’ve had these lined up to do for a while now. A sherried trilogy of Bowmore’s. Thanks first to Ben Cops (@bencops) for the sample of Devil’s Cask and Steve Prentice (@stevepentice) for the sample of the Hand Filled Bowmore.
Bowmore Devil’s Cask
10 year old
First filled sherry cask
Sweet bonfire smoke. Alluring berries (red currents, blackberries) and dark fruits. Rum and raisin. Really mouth watering. A little salt and some kippers. Light pepper, some cinnamon and a touch of liquorice. A nice fruity puncher of a nose.
Sweet and dry(!). Salty, after ABV nip has calmed, gentle fruit, berries, earthy peat. Some bitter oak tannins. Dry pepper spice, liquorice and some burnt caramel. Reasonably mouth coating, but I wouldn’t say overly oily.
Quite short surprisingly, pepper, earthy peat, wet grass, drying light oak.
Little dollop added. Spicier on the nose now, less fruity, more barbecued burnt peat and char. More earth, leaves and dirtier(!). On the palate that dirt comes forward, with the fruit quite beaten to the background, but still lingering in the darkness. It is tastier with water though, and the fruit while less dominant is still there and complimentary. The mouthfeel actually seeks oilier with water.
Nice dram, standalone it would be fine and competent and enjoyable. A little disappointed with the undiluted palate, but with water it’s a very nice dram. But when comparing to these other drams, it is a little but lackluster, which is unfortunate. I do look forward to the next release and hope for it to be a little more available.
15 year old
Sherry cask finished
I’m assuming non-chill filtered but nothing specific on the box/bottle
£89.95 from TheWhiskyExchange
Salty dry sea air. Some berries, red currents, dried sultanas. Pepper, anise, liquorice. Earthy mineral peat smoke, iodine, some medicinal elements. Wet grass. A nice balance to this nose, but feels lacking in punch compared to the others.
Fruity, juicy, after the heat, we have peat, warm, gentle peat interspersed with stewed dark fruits. Plums, raisins, berries, everything on the nose, but so much more intense on the palate. Really tasty, thick mouth feel. Some pepper spices balanced lovely in the mix.
Medium-long. Those fruits go on for a while, some light earthy notes come fore at the very end with some grassiness.
A little dollop added. The nose is a little sweeter and has more of a confectionary citrus and even sweet shop note to it. The palate still retains a lot of fruit and juiciness, lacks a little from the original mouthfeel, but now has more citrus, some up front orange juice notes, added creaminess, some light toffee and caramel, with the finish continuing these new flavours complimenting the fruit.
Wow, special. This is a very very nice dram indeed. Exceptionally tasty with or without water. And almost a different beast in eat it’s undiluted and diluted forms. Well worth the money.
Bowmore Hand Filled
16 year old
Assuming non-chill filtered and no added colouring as it’s hand filled?
Strong pepper spice, anise, liquorice, oak spiciness. The fruit notes are restrained but can sense some good fruity nature in the background, juicy plums, raisin, berries etc. the peat is earthy again and medicinal in nature. Definitely spices in the front and fruit more backgrounded. With time in the glass the fruit comes forward and a little more balance is achieved.
Very sweet and fruity. Juicy fruits, thick dark sherried plums, raisins, some orange and citrus there, thick and viscous mouthfeel. With a lot of time in the mouth some light peat notes come forward, some sherry soaked oak notes. Very chewy and fulfilling.
Medium-long, fruity, drying out, dried fruits, oak, some tannins. Stewed tea.
Not sure I want to add water to this one. But I have to for consistency in the overall review. 😦
With water the nose is peatier. More earth and dirt. The spices still quite dominant. Liquorice intense. With a little fruit still lingering in the background. The diluted palate with less nip, and lighter mouthfeel present more spices up front now, the fruit is still present but encased with peat, earth and spices and much less in your face as the undiluted version. A case of 2 different beasts with and without water. The finish diluted is harsher, more mineral and bitter than the undiluted.
Much preferred without water, at which time this is a very exceptional,loud, fruity, juicy, monster of flavour. When watered it is changed completely, more earthy and Islay in character. Personally I prefer the juicy variant.