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.

Grade: B

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