So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Whisky Butler June 2016 Box: Bowmore Box. 15yo Darkest vs Tempest Batch 5 vs 24yo Carn Mor #616 vs Devil’s Cask III

Is there really a need to introduce Bowmore? Big name, major reputation, one of the oldest distilleries still producing.. and now owned by Suntory. I think that’s a good thing because the Japanese are known to spend to get the best quality sherry casks around, not a stretch to hope some of that crosses over into Islay, whether Laphroaig or Bowmore, well.. I count that as a win-win.

WB June 16 box

Bowmore 10yo Tempest Batch 5 55.9% ‘First Fill Bourbon’

Nose Nose: 10 years? Superb. Yes, very modern kind of Bowmore to me: Lime leaf and white chalk ground up into a paste, add sea salt, hot engines, granite chips, white smoke, cut with the most pristine seawater. But also a veneer of mango peel and citrus rind, I feel the earnest beginnings of a tropical fruit smoothie. Pray age brings out these flavours in the cask, and then we can fall on our knees and say Bowmore has returned to form.

Taste Palate: Does as advertised. Big bold and punchy flavours. Saline, and peat and clean smoke. Dry sharp minerals, lime oil sour and yet still lots of mango and swet citrusy echoes. Very darned good.

Finish Finish: Long, dry clean earthy peaty, clean smoke. Very crisp and maritime. Utterly fantastic for a 10 year old.


Bowmore 24yo 1991/2016 Carn Mor 54.9%

Nose Nose: White wine sangria made from a small cup of fruit with exactly 1 piece of every fruit, that is to say sweet but with an indistinct fruity pleasantness. Some European tonic liqueur with 10 botanics but no ingredients list. Floral satchets hanging in cabinets. Interesting one, some salt and some smoke but not much phenolics. Also quite some wood flavours.

Taste Palate: Quite some oak and vanilla in this. Also sweet smoke and white wine-esque minerals. Fairly sweet with good weight, redolent of yesterday’s flowers and a vague indistinct fruitiness.

Finish Finish: Medium long, some thick wet leather notes, some earthy dryness.


Bowmore 15yo Darkest 43%

This one is matured in ‘bourbon and sherry’ casks and then spent the last 3 of its 15 years in ex-oloroso. How ‘ex’ is not stated.

Nose Nose: Well it’s the tempest reduced to 43% and matured (3 years is more of a short maturation than finish isn’t it?) in … rather good sherry casks actually. Spoonful of cough syrup, treacle, minty woody tannins – oh yes, tannins are quite loud here. Plum sauce and eucalyptus oil. Lots of dark spices- ginger cake, aniseed, tamarind candy. The sharp minerals and salt of the spirit really poking through despite the layer of sherry.

Taste Palate: More obvious maritime flavours on the tongue, with peat and puffer smoke plus salt air, sharp minerals appear … but hold on the wood tannins come charging in midway now with some darker flavours in tow but lots of oak, more so than sherry at this point. Some bitter medicinals and cooked plums. Wood’s really got a hold.

Finish Finish: Medium. Sour lemon, bitter dry herbals, it’s unmedicinal medicine for when you need Wood’s cough syrup without the cough syrup.


Bowmore Devil’s Cask III 56.7% 

This one has lost its age statement (pity). What is still known is that it is matured in first fill oloroso and PX casks. Does that mean the PX was not first fill the cynic in me wonders.

Nose Nose: Naturally much hotter and bigger. In quite the same camp as the Darkest, but more on preserved oranges, a lot more oak tannins, a LOT more of those dark sweet-rich sharp spices. Full on aniseed and cocoa, nutmeg and candied ginger. Lime juice cooked with pureed dates. Still has a sharp chalky mineraled edge to it, but the sherry’s so big I can’t even really tell its peated.

Taste Palate: Very big and very grippy. Initally sweet syrupy with dark fruit but the onslaught begins with lots and lots of oak and eucalyptus and pepper and other ‘hot’ flavours, including lava and a seared metal pan. The peat and salt take a backseat in this one, though you can just about feel them whimpering in a corner. Hmm still smokey though.

Finish Finish: Feeling like you had the dankest of days and need a medicine tougher than the Darkest? This is the Darkest on steriods.

3 comments on “Whisky Butler June 2016 Box: Bowmore Box. 15yo Darkest vs Tempest Batch 5 vs 24yo Carn Mor #616 vs Devil’s Cask III

  1. Carissa Hickling
    June 12, 2016

    We have a Bowmore night coming up… with slightly more standard fare but still looking forward! Envy your trying the Devil’s Cask 🙂

    • Whiskyrific
      June 13, 2016

      That’s great! Try getting Batch 1 and 2, I think they were overall better.

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