Bowmore 18 Year Old (Travel Retail) – 43% abv
Info: Bowmore recently unveiled three new duty-free exclusive malts, aged 10, 15 & 18 years, marking a return to age statements for the first time in five years. The 18yo is described as Deep and Complex, and has been matured in both Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.
Colour: Medium to dark burnished gold, autumn orange. (the bottle says it contain E150a colouring).
Nose: Gentle and sweet. You’re greeted by smooth and restrained peaty hints, along with a waxy varnish type note followed by a rich and layered fruity compote of winter berries; stewed blackcurrants, blackberries and gooseberries along with hints of macadamia nuts.
Palate: The whisky introduces itself to you nice and easily, there’s an older slight mossy dunnage wood note along with hints or whisps of peat smoke, also a slight coal tone. It’s very easy to hold on your tongue, it’s not overly thick with oils. There’s hints of a heathery moor in there, slightly floral in a good way with the more wintery sherry notes following up nicely to smooth things out and balance things up.
Finish: The finish shows slightly more bite, in a good way. There’s a small crack of pepper and a pinch of coastal salt. Hints of slightly floral yet peaty costal notes are found, and followed up by the balanced sweetness of the sherry. It’s warming and fairly long.
Thoughts: It’s PX and Oloroso matured, but it’s not an all out sherry bomb of a malt, which is a good thing, it’s balanced and easy drinking. When I say easy drinking, I really mean that, this is an every day later evening session whisky that you can drink easily, but won’t knock your socks off… which is good, I like my socks. I have tried the old ‘standard‘ Bowmore 18yo, and found it a little thin and boring. This is a step on from that in my mind. Making this 46% abv would possibly give it the extra oiliness that I think it needs.
Available: World Duty Free (i.e. Airports) – £59.99. The ‘standard‘ 18yo is £85.38 from Master of Malt.
Thanks to Bowmore for the very generous sample!
Thoughts or comments? Come and find me on Twitter @steveprentice