The Bowmore Travel Retail Range : Part I – ‘Black Rock’ NAS

Time to take a look at Bowmore’s offering for the travel retail market (duty free), after Bowmore changed the entire line-up of offerings a few months ago. Currently the TR range consists of 3 whiskies : Black Rock (which I will review shortly), Gold Reef , and White sands 17 yo. While the first two are NAS (as many of the current wave of TR releases) the third is a rather older and age bearing 17 yo which is nice.

According to Bowmore ,at the heart of the range is Black Rock, a rich single malt named after the jaggy outcrop that’s clearly visable in the bay across from the distillery, which has stood black_rockon the shores of Loch Indaal since 1779. Matured predominately in first-fill ex-Spanish sherry casks. Young sherry NAS can be tricky, let’s see how this fares:

Bowmore Black Rock, 40% abv , £44.99

Nose: starts sweet with quire some fruit. A dirty sherry note too. Earthy sort of farmy peat. Some gunpowder , pepper and custard. Interesting. Very much so. Gets better with time. Let it breath, and see how it does improve and reveals more complexity.

Palate: A nice peaty feel to it. Bit of mint. Then a warm sensation of sweet fruit. Stewed compote. Sweet smoke. Plum. Coffee. Sultana. Lovely sherry without any rubber or off notes. Lovely In fact.

Finish: Pepper. Dried fruit mixed with peat smoke. Sticky plum syrup. Very long and very satisfying.

While I’ve had better bowmores, this is a surprisingly well made dram, It’s young alright but it does not suffer the young age maladies, and feels very good on the palate, with the right balance of peat and sherry. A good buy if you’re a Bowmore fan and you’re traveling soon. I liked it quite a bit.

Score: 85/100

Official sample provided by Bowmore distillery

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