Whisky Review – SMWS 3.243 “Dark, smouldering flamenco gypsy” (Bowmore)

SMWS 3.243 “Dark, smouldering flamenco gypsy”
Distillery – Bowmore
Maturation – refill ex-sherry butt
Age – 17 years old
57.1% ABV
Non Chill Filtered
No Added Colouring
£80 (for members)  from SMWS’ Islay Party
£120.99 (non-members – but why aren’t you a member anyway?! :))

  
For the first time, SMWS will be holding their own Islay Festival event on May 22nd at Islay House. This is their special festival bottling for the event. I love a good, late teens sherried Bowmore. Let’s crack on. 
Nose.
Wooooh!  Dark treacle. Sherry. Christmas cake. Salted mackerel. Fishmongers. Sea air. Ozone. Plump rum soaked raisins. Smoke, lots of smoke. Thick bonfire variety. Barbecue sauce. After a little time in the glass. More meaty. Definitely getting some pork produce to go alongside the barbecue. Ribs. Kebabs. Also the slightest touch of floral, trademark Parma violet/lavender. But so slight. Pencil case. A touch of pleasant rubber (from the top of the pencils) Bloody Lovely stuff. 
Palate.
Sweet and sour arrival, extremely thick on the mouthfeel. Liquid silk. Alcohol comes and goes quite quickly, developing into thick rich toffee, chocolate, coffee, sherried dates. Hot cinnamon bun with melted chocolate. Meaty richness and that BBQ sauce coming in. Bonfire ash. Very tasty stuff. 
Finish.
The finish returns in waves, I was going to say medium length but then it came back. Treacle toffee, syrup, sherried fruits, hay, smoke, sea salt, smoke, fruit and meat. Lots of variation and intrigue. 
Adding water.
This is quite the experience undiluted but I’m adding a few drops. The nose has a touch of added floral, the meatiness is very prominent, and while I hate to quote from official tasting notes I have to say that shredded duck and plum sauce does feature quite distinctively, even with a touch of cucumber!  Loads of sherried dark fruits and Christmas spices very present and still a plea of gorgeous thick smoke. The palate has more sherried elements, a nutty dryness reminiscent of great oloroso matured whiskies. The mouthfeel still almighty thick and lush. Still undeniably Bowmore. The finish is longer, fruitier and plain delicious. The after finish is a big wide smile. 
Conclusion. 
Love it. Can’t say much more than I know this will be my first Islay Festival purchase. Bloody beautiful stuff. 
Thanks so much to SMWS for providing the sample. 
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