We have got something of soft spot for well-maturated Bowmore. The distillery can boast of being one of the worlds oldest scotch maturation warehouses, the legendary No.1 Vaults of the Bowmore distillery. However, a few weeks ago we got reacquainted with their 18yo expression from their core range. Matured in hand-selected combination of both bourbon and sherry casks. In our humble opinion, this 18-year-old expression is one of the most beautifully balanced Bowmores, the rich, deep colour reflected in its flavour, and its warming finish.
On the nose: are warm welcoming notes of oranges, nectar, dried currants, stewed red apples and plenty of peat. These initial notes are swiftly followed by toffee, dark chocolate ganache, and spices in the form of turmeric and cinnamon. Rounding-off the nose are notes of vanilla, subtle hints of green herbs, salty caramel and poached pears. On the palate: those sweet oranges are ever-present, with a more strong suggestion of smokey peat, followed by vanilla, currants, treacle and luxurious dark chocolate. Spicy notes of cracked black pepper start to emerge, alongside notes of rosemary. Completing the palate are notes of liquorice, poached pears, salty caramel and freshly roasted coffee beans. The finish: is medium/long, spicy, sweet, with lingering peat and oak.
The verdict: Bowmore have a very distinct Islay Scotch and this marriage of casks have been so well balanced. Its brutish Islay character is evident on the nose but it has a very endearing delicate touch of elegance on the palate. It’s smooth and harmonious, with plenty of depth and complex notes that standout. With an ABV of 43%, there is no need to add any water but do so if you feel the need to in small quantities.
Bowmore 18-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch can be found in any well-stocked whisky shop, online or in-store for approximately £100.