Thanks to /u/devoz for the sample.
And a special call out to /u/criollo_and_barley. I hear this is your version of Viagra.
I have oddly enough been on a A.D. Rattray kick, totally not of my own doing. I swapped for three, not even considering reviewing them together. Then my wife said I need to drink so she finds me pretty, and well, I’m pregnant, we’re here, time to drink for two.
Don’t actually drink while you’re pregnant people, it’s dark humour, not a life guide.
So this bottle shows up for devoz. He’s delighted. Tries it, raves about it. I get into one of my usual rants about how Bowmore is a sad sack and all that. Then he mentions how Bowmore 14 A.D. Rattray Cask Collection is quite good.
And then criollo_and_barley says I shouldn’t have it, as it’s made of Heaven for him and I’m the anti-Christ. Or something. So of course I have to try it.
To be fair to Bowmore: I’ve been finding more and more of their offerings (both IB and OB) recently (past year) that I’ve been enjoying. None that have blown me away, but one recently that came close (SMWS 3.228).
So it’s a cask strength sherry matured Bowmore that people love. Sounds like a plan, let’s see if I enjoy it.
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Number: 900012 (Part)
Cask Type: Sherry Butt
Colour: 5Y 9/4
Nose: Malt, pear, vegetal funk, lemongrass, cranberry BBQ sauce, banana, Salvation Army clothing section
Starts off quite simple. Some malt, some pear. I’m imagining how mean I’ll have to be in the review, and if I’ll be told my nose is made of butts or something.
Then it starts with some vegetation, sweetens into lemongrass, and then that sweetness becomes musty, and then… I’m shopping for a Halloween Costume?
This has a surprising nose. Takes a good amount of time to pop out, and is worth it.
Taste: Pear, BBQ ribs, molasses, lemon soda, matches, grapple (an apple that has been infused with the flavours of grapes)
The BBQ and pear notes continue into the taste. There’s a molasses note that makes me wonder if this is rum.
Any peat has gone, mixed with sherry, and left… matches. Don’t eat matches. You’ll end up like me. Or worse.
Finish: Sorghum, grassy, banana pudding, chipotle, brown sugar carrots
Finish is quite sweet. Takes some time to tease it all apart. Good amount of earth, lots of sweet, hot, and fruity notes. The grass note takes away a little, though isn’t unpleasant.
Conclusion: A solid, solid dram. This is what I hope for when trying Bowmore. I don’t always get it (or come close), but I’m constantly looking for something like it.
It’s fruity, there’s complexity, there’s uniqueness, and it’s big. I’ve had bigger, but usually they take a lot longer. This is a gem of a dram.
Unless you’re talking to criollo_and_barley, then tell him it’s shit. It’s a funny response.
Scotch reviews #546, Islay review #124, Whisky Network reviews #906