Whisky Review – SMWS 3.237 “Candle taking it’s last Breath” (Bowmore)

SMWS 3.237 “Candle taking it’s last Breath”
Distillery – Bowmore
Maturation – refill ex-sherry butt
Distill date – 25th September 1997
Age – 17 years old
537 bottles
57.2% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£62.40 from SMWS


Immediately maritime with buckets of barbecue. Meaty, sticky ribs, pork smothered in BBQ sauce. The smoke is barbecue/bonfire variety, no tcp here. Chinese style sauced ribs. Hints of salty, smoked mackerel. Dark fruits. Stewed banana. Loads of dark burnt toffee. Caramel. Light on the spices. Some pepper and clove, Chinese 5 spice. All the time this isn’t overpowering in ABV on the nose. It’s very deeply sniffable. With time in the glass there are more dark fruits, raisin, fruitcake. More of the sherry cask influence comes forward given some time.


Full full flavoured. Thick oily mouthfeel. Arrival is sweet and sticky with some salt, a little nip from the high alcohol, then wave and wave of barbecue meats, smoked meats, bonfire, toffee, bitter chocolate, some strong coffee giving the development a slight bitterness which is offset with the other flavours very nicely. Beautifully complex and delicious.


Sweet going dry over a long time. With chocolate toffee, coffee, dark fruits, meaty bbq’d products and all round sticky lushness.

Adding water.

You know, this is going down very well without water, but I need to add a bit to see what happens. The nose has more sweetness and sherried notes. Fruitcake, lots of it. Rum and raisin. The BBQ notes have been calmed, salted mackerel still remains. Some added spices. The palate reflects this move to sherry, lots of thick fruits, Christmas cake and spices. Toffee, chocolate. Spicy, tasty and moreish. The finish has more spice, less sticky in intensity, but still sweet with chocolate and some coffee elements, there is also some added fruit sweeties, banana foams, chewits. Yummy.


Fantastic stuff. Single cask sherry Bowmore’s in the mid-late teens are a big weakness of mine, and this one is no exception. It’s gorgeous. Loads of flavour, goes on for ages. A perfect winter dram to drive out the cold. Affordable luxury.


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