Hey, I’m not a fan of Bowmore!
Wait! Don’t leave!
I meant to say, I’m not normally a fan of Bowmore at a lower strength.
Seriously, stop leaving!
My bias are what they are. And honestly, I don’t hide from them. I continuously test them and see if they have changed. That’s all I can do. I’m human. We’re all fucking human. There’s mistakes we make, and we have to challenge ourselves.
So, when I was offered each of the samples of the SMWS beginner pack, I jumped at it. And given one, SMWS 3.213 “Fresh, inviting, energetic” is in fact from Bowmore, I didn’t think twice.
Partially because I like Bowmores that are Cask Strength, and partially because I’m not done with the distillery yet.
This will have less information than other SMWS offerings, if only because I couldn’t find it on their site, and the bottles are somewhat sparse. None the less, I’m sure the name “Fresh, inviting, energetic” certainly will entice me, thinking of all the Golden Retrievers I’ve ever met, and certainly not the kooky ex-girlfriends who turned out to be nuts.
Certainly it won’t. Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in Ontario
Age: 18 years
Colour: 2.5Y 9/3
Nose: Pear, chocolate, honey, violets, cherrywood smoke
The time in the cask on this one is evident. The peat has gone to a sweeter, earthier side. There’s nothing really screaming here, because it’s all dead plant matter, and even then, plants don’t scream.
Stop being crazy.
It’s interesting. I like the floral/honey aspects.
Taste: Bacon, licorice, brine, black pepper, brown sugar
Standard cask strength Islay fair here, save it’s missing some element I can’t put my finger on. I’m reminded more of Bowmore 18 than Bowmore Tempest, if that’s it. It’s not complex at all.
That said, this is nice to sip on. I love licorice and am a huge peat head, and this delivers on the peat. Little else other than smoke and earth and sweet, but it delivers.
Finish: Smoke, licorice, blackberries, brine, wood
There’s a little bit of tartness here. Beyond that, re-read what I wrote for the taste.
Conclusion: This is better than Bowmore 18 due to the cracking nose. And that’s about it.
But I’m not really here to bash Bowmore this time. I think I’m the kind of whisky person who likes a complex, intricate dram. And that’s not Bowmore (save some exceptions). Instead they do a simple, smoke filled dram.
While it may not be my cup of tea, I think anyone who really enjoys Bowmore would want to add this to their collection immediately. It’s a step up, just not enough of one for me to sing it’s praises.
If you’re like me (save you probably have class and don’t mention your genitalia all the time), you would probably prefer Devil’s or Tempest or Laimrig instead.
Scotch review #461, Islay review #95, Whisky Network review #756