Giving each whiskey (and whisky) I try a final grade, but only after reaching the bottom of the bottle. After all, just one drink is never enough!
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.
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