Saturday, November 15, 2014
Bowmore Small Batch Reserve Single Malt Scotch
I've alluded in other posts to the fact that I am prejudiced in that I feel I prefer darker whiskies (fully recognizing that it's completely possible for a lighter whisky to have great flavor, and likewise, for a dark whisky to taste bad). I've always been intrigued by Bowmore's Darkest Scotch, as the name just calls to me, though I've never pulled the trigger.
The other night I had a fellow Scotch drinker coming to my house, so I knew I had to buy a bottle of something. I had just read a list of top Scotches for $40 and under as chosen by various people within the industry, and making the list was the Bowmore Small Batch. While not the Darkest, it was nonetheless a chance for me to try what is one of Bowmore's flagship Scotches. So I had my target as I headed to the liquor store.
As an Islay Scotch, I expected it to be a peaty Scotch. Some people are put off by peat. I like it, so long as it complements and does not distract from the other flavors in the Scotch. This is such a Scotch. You're hit with the peat in the nose and in the first sip. You can almost smell the smokiness on your clothes after you gulp it down.
However, it provides a great, even if surprising, complement to the green apple flavor that almost immediately follows. This is not an apple-wine type flavor, but rather reminded me of cool, fresh, crisp granny smith apples.
It then finished with the lingering smoke and a hints of vanilla and pine that also worked really well together. I found I really enjoyed this with a single ice chip thrown in. It really helped bring the other flavors out from behind the peat to make it a very enjoyable whisky.