Thanks to /u/j4ni for this sample.
Throughout the ages, many smarter, more diligent, and much more drunk men have asked: What is an enigma?
Is it a thought exercise with an end? But if it ends, what is the point? But if there is no end, why do the exercise? Does it just tire with no reward, leaving only the strongest among us to ponder it?
If it is not an exercise, then what? Is it a lost art, mired in procedural shows that are fun yet intellectually pandering to the lowest common denominator?
If not a mystery, then what? Is it an unexplained origin, waiting for science to catch up, having each of us guess at it like children throwing lawn darts at one another? DOes it maim in the process, all so one of us can say “Oh, I know”
If not philosophy, then what is it? A momentary thought and nothing more? A blip in each of our minds that barely causes a stomach rumble, let along the gas and concerns we normally associate with true, deep thoughts?
No, sir/madam/horse! That’s all silly. Don’t tell me what the Poet’s are doing. Today we’re answering the question: It’s a whisky from the original Islay, Bowmore 12 Enigma.
Now that I’ve chopped that particular Gordian knot, what is this whisky?
Well it’s a travel exclusive version of Bowmore 12. This version has more sherry maturation than others. How much? No one knows (well, someone does, they just didn’t say it).
So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in Ontario
Colour: 5YR 5/8
Nose: Malt, brine, peat, anise, rhubarb, cloves
Quite malty at first. I’m actually surprised at this one.
Let me explain: Usually with lower Abv Bowmores (and with some higher ones too) they settle into this “hey, dur, I’m peated, peat peat peat” dull-ness that continues over and over like an annoying child who hasn’t had enough to drink yet.
This one doesn’t do that. And while it’s quite simple, and there may be too much brine for my liking, I’m surprised. I would not guess this was Bowmore.
Taste: Mint, peat, coffee with too much milk in it, malt, lemon
Interesting flavours. None really wow me or anything, and the coffee with too much milk makes me want to go out, get on my famous Uggs and Yoga pants and grab some coffee. You know, with a shit ton of milk because I can’t stand bitterness.
Where was I? Dammit, lost my train of thought.. Oh, yeah. Nothing offensive, nothing great, just right down the middle for me.
Finish: Malt, cocoa, grass, cantaloupe, brine
Nice enough finish. The cantaloupe is this odd, far away flavour that I had trouble with, so take that with a grain of salt. You’ll have enough due to the amount of brine in here. It grows in saltiness like me playing too many hours of Hearthstone.
Conclusion: All in all, not the worst Bowmore I’ve ever had. Better than the standard 12, but that’s not saying too much from me.
It does the minimum to not have any rough notes. There’s nothing wowing you here, and that’s about it. They’ve found a way to open up more complexity and longevity on said complexity. Would I buy a bottle? No, but a Bowmore fan may want to. It’s certainly better than the standard 12 and costs less I think on a per/ml level.
Scotch review #471, Islay review #98, Whisky Network review #774