Whisky Review – Bowmore 15 year old Darkest

Bowmore 15 year old Darkest
Sherry Finished Islay Malt
43% ABV
£46.17 from MasterofMalt

Nose.

Bonfires! Dark fruits. Raisins, sultanas. Sherry influence is prominent on the nose, the smoky peat bonfires are on the backburner(!). But they are there and a very pleasant addition they are! A little time in the glass though and they switch places with the bonfires coming forward and the fruit being scorched in the embers. It keeps changing. Very intriguing. Definitely some coffee in the mix. More time in the glass and the sherried fruit is dominant again. It’s a switcheroo of a dram!

Palate.

Quite a bit of sweet fruit, raisins, sultanas are here up front and not a lot of Islay, not a bad thing as I will conclude. But if your a smoke head then this may be a little disappointing. The development goes onto a little pepper, more chewy coffee with the fruit. A little chocolate pops up and a little peaty earthiness and damp burning leaves.

Finish.

Quite long. Damp grass. The peat earthiness is there all along. Some fruit stays for a little while. But peat and smoke of the bonfire variety lingers.

Adding water.

Not putting a lot in. The nose is more about the fruit and sherried malt now. Bonfires in the background again. The nose is lighter and more pleasant to smell with the addition of water. Lighter fruits are coming about as well. Some orange and citrus added to the mix. The palate has lost a little in the way of mouthfeel (understandable), but the tastes are easier to enjoy with the citrus notes joining in the enhanced fruity taste mix. The finish is much the same, long with fruity smoke piles. It’s worth a small drop of water in this one, though it does make the dram go down very very easily!

Conclusion.

I think this is a very pleasant. Easy, yet complex dram. A very good introducer to someone who likes sherried/speyside whiskies or a beginner, who hasn’t experienced Islay yet. It’s not one of the big Islay experiences, but its a nice introduction and definitely a nice variation for someone like me who is a bit of a sherry head wanting an alternative experience.

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Whisky Review – Kilchoman Loch Gorm

Kilchoman Loch Gorm.
5 year sherry cask, 6 month finish in hogshead.
46%

£56.95 from the Whisky Exchange

Nose.

BBQ bacon fat initially which dissipates quickly. Medicinal peat. Tar. Dark fruits take some searching out but they are there. Gone back to more creosote and burning ropes now. This nose keeps swapping around. Medicinal is back. Now something almost chocolate. Grassy cowsheds.

Palate.

It looks very oily in the glass I wonder if it will feel that way. Arrival crisp and light. Development gets hot. Chilli pepper. Oily mouthfeel is in there. Sweet and sour. Some grassy hay. Salt. Not getting an awful lot of sherry influences.

Finish.

Long. Grassy. Warming. Drying. Medicinal Peat heat. Creosote.

Adding water?

Peat on the nose is reduced. Giving way to more sherry notes. Dark fruits. Palate is fruitier as well. But there is still a fair amount of islay there. Finish is lighter but still has the complexities.

Conclusion.

A different dram. It’s tasty and definitely can take and benefits from a drop of water. Definitely has more apparent age in the glass than the real life age. Goes to show that age doesn’t always count!

Bought from the Whisky Exchange

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Nickolls & Perks Exclusive Glenfarclas family cask. 2003. Cask number 1448 – Review

Nickolls & Perks Exclusive
Glenfarclas family cask. 2003.
Cask number 1448.
57.5%.

Available here.

Colour.

Rich treacle.

Nose.

Restrained sherry. Furniture polish. Thick rich toffee. Glutenous sugar. I adore this nose. I don’t know why they don’t make perfume like this. It’s not alcohol it’s heaven. After settling in the glass for 15 minutes more spicy sherried oak comes to the forefront with the familiar Christmas pudding notes shining away.

Palate.

Rich and mellow considering the strength. Heavy sherry monster. So viscous and oily. It’s gloriously rich and costs everywhere. Chewy sherried malt. So thick with fruitcake. Chocolate coming through as well.

Finish.

Sherried oak spices that goes on for ages and just internal warmth. That’s a glorious dram.

Adding water?

You know I don’t want to add water to this one. I’m enjoying it too much! But in the interest of science. A very small drop into half a dram. And wait. (Patience!!). Hmmm. It’s kind of reset the nose. Less sherried malt and back to the more restrained spicy oak aged profile. It’s not a bad thing. But. I prefer the settled down without water nose. Ahh. On the palate there is more layering to the fruits and chocolate. A little nuttiness coming through the spiced oak also. Finish feels a little richer with more age. Maybe the drop of water isn’t so bad after all. I’ll try another drop of water in what’s left. Just a small one! Nose weakened some more. Still has a good aged oak nose but the fruitcaky pleasure I love is toned down a lot. Palate is now loosing the oiliness and hasn’t benefitted from the extra water in my opinion. So, in conclusion on the water argument. I would say no water. Tho maybe worth putting a drop in close to the end of your dram to experiment and make your own mind up with.

Conclusion.

This is a rich, beautifully made whisky. It’s definitely one that I like more than most because of my sherry monster preferences. It is a monster. But a soft cuddly one that makes you lovely and cosy and warm inside. It’s quite an expensive bottle, but if you like your heavily sherried malts and have the dough. Then it’s worth the splash out in my opinion. But if your anything like me. This bottle won’t last a long time. It’s very more-ish!

Thanks go to Nickolls & Perks for providing me with the dram. It’s greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

You can buy this bottle for £100.00 from Nickolls & Perks.20130413-221915.jpg