Continuing my set of reviews of standard range bottlings purchased by myself rather than samples given to me for review I’m going to take a look at the high end of Bowmore’s range, their 18 year old.
Colour: Dark golden copper. There’s some caramel colouring here but it’s hard to tell how much.
Nose: Gentle Islay peat, not the iodine type you get from the three southerly distilleries on the island but a more gentle middle of the road sort of peat, much more accessible to many I’d suggest. Toffee and cask char along with winter fruits and sweet malt in this middle aged dram.
Palate: Slightly thinner on the palate than you’d maybe hope for (especially at this price), but it’s easy going and covers your mouth with great sweet old malt, peat and elderly oak cask notes – all pretty perfectly balanced and enjoyable. Slightly floral – drops of Parma Violets.
Finish: Slowly but surely this coats your gullet with great flavours ending up giving your chest a big warming hug that goes on for ages, great stuff. Sweet winter fruits balanced and mixed with an earthy yet slightly costal peat, dunnage style oak and a more of those floral notes.
Water: Don’t you dare. I didn’t.
Thoughts: Slightly mixed emotions, a fabulous dram which really shines for me, a bit let down by a slight thinness on the palate. 87 in score, it would be higher for certain if this wasn’t filtered and therefore had a thicker mouthfeel (which in my opinion it’s sorely missing – bump it from 43% to 46% and all would most likely be fixed). However the abv does make it very easily accessible as a drinking whisky and that’s what it’s there for, not to be worshipped and left unopened!
Available: Master Of Malt – £72.95 (Get a sample for £6.37)
From my own stock.