Review: Bowmore 17 Year Old (SMWS 3.243)

SMWS3243BottleBowmore 17yo – SMWS 3.243 – 57.1% abv

Info: The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) have joined with Islay House for their first Feis Ile event on Friday 22nd May 2015, and to celebrate they’re releasing this bottle of 3.243 “Dark, smouldering flamenco gypsy”, a refill ex-sherry butt, which will be available at the hotel on the evening.

Colour: Fairly dark mahogany gold.

Nose: Gentle light islay smoke. Layers of smells; old oak, leather, cola cube (just the one!), gentle mosses. It’s possibly slightly closed, but give it some time to open up, maybe gently warm it in your hand and out comes a hint of smouldering fire and cinder toffee.

Palate: Thick, mossy, earthy, spiced oils cover your palate which quickly give way to sweetly smoky puffs of peat. Under it all is lovely golden barley tones and crushed ripe autumn fruits.

Finish: Long and luscious, gently sweet with tannins coming out the end.

Water: Surprisingly easy at full strength without any water. However if you do add a drop the nose stays just as interesting, if not opened up a touch. On the palate it becomes slightly more creamy and easy to enjoy, bringing out more of the cola tones found on the nose. “Warm welly boots by a dying bonfire” is an official tasting note, it’s fairly spot on.

Thoughts: 17yo Bowmores are often good, it seems a good age for the spirit… and certainly this is a great single cask 17yo from SMWS, grab one if you can!

Available: On Islay on the 22nd May… £80 to members, £120 to non members.

Thanks to SMWS for the sample.

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