Went out to a fun, tasty, great dinner party last night. And as I was the DD, yet I was able to have one, given the amount of time between driving and drinking, I could have one.
The host’s eyes lit up. He had something to show me.
Something he had found, that he doesn’t really remember where it came from.
And it was… Bowmore Laimrig 15 year. And… I didn’t know how to react.
However I’m a little bit better than your average seal. Or penguin. I can’t really keep up.
Yes, I haven’t been the nicest friend to Bowmore. I may have called them poopy at some point. However I’ve also heard (and tried) some special editions that didn’t taste so bad.
And this was an adventure, after all. A free, nice host offering me something he enjoyed and really wanted me to try (and review).
So here we are. This is a Spanish sherry butt finished, cask strength 15 year old Bowmore. And the name means pier, in Scots Gaelic.
Well, at least that’s what they tell me. For all I know it means “Mushroom batter” in Gaelic, I don’t speak it.
Let’s see how it measures up.
Price: $100.05 (CAD) at the LCBO
Colour: Red Brass
Nose: Red licorice, cherries, peat, apple, fresh grass, tart, orange
Not at all what I was expecting. Thinking back to past Bowmore’s, they started out strong in the nose and then eventually left a few minutes later, leaving me naked, crying, and hugging my teddy bear.
Just kidding, I don’t have a teddy bear.
And this one actually gradually dies down, yet there’s a solid tart, orange, smoke, and herbal flavour to it. Nice surprise so far.
Taste: Strawberry, peat, burn, oak, salty, currant
Burns at first, however given some time, it stays in a nicely red fruit flavoured and salty taste. Not as much peat as I’d personally like, however I think that’s more a personal thing.
What I will say is the this isn’t that complex. Peat, Sherry. That’s it. Like Good Italian Cooking: Few Ingredients. In this case, kinda a detriment, however not a deal breaker.
Finish: Anise, smoke, oregano, dry sand, zucchinis, cinnamon
Long finish on this one, lasts quite awhile. Which is what I meant when I wrote long.
Shit, late nights + writing reviews = my A game.
There’s quite a bit of spice at the end on this one, and some earth/vegetal notes that came out of nowhere. It’s nice, I enjoy this one.
Conclusion: The extra alcohol makes this more than just a Bowmore. My old issue with Bowmore was the single notes, the fading flavour, and generally just being “meh”.
This one has the flavour, which don’t cut and run as quickly, has some interesting dynamics with Sherry and Peat, and a nice finish. It still isn’t that complex, it still fades out after a bit. However it doesn’t have horrible off notes, it is nice to sip, and given a better price point, I’d actually buy a bottle.
My score represents the bottle without price, and I’m glad my friend was happy to share this one, as it was a nice experience.
Scotch review #189, Islay review #46, Whisky Network review #267