There are a few whiskies that attract a lot of attention every once in a while, and for some reason (well, for obvious reasons) Bowmore’’ Devil’s cask is one of them. It all started last year when the first edition came out, and sold out faster than lightning, then the price shot up in the secondary market (read: auction sites), and people were flipping them like mad for 100%’s more than the original price. It was obvious that when the second batch of the Devil’s cask is out, history will repeat itself, and that was EXACTLY what happened: this time the bottles disappeared from the shelves of online shops in minutes, and i am talking single digits here. Yes. Hype, Madness. or in other words :Collectors.
This brings me to the sad fact that most of those beauties selling for 2, 3 or 4 times their original price will not be enjoyed as they should have – in a glass.
I was not really near a PC at the time, so I did not even hope for a bottle, and I was very glad that Ben, a whisky friends from the UK, offered a sample if I was interested (What a super guy! thank you mate, by the way!!!). So this is how I managed (barely) to try the dram. Basically if you’ve not heard about it, the Devil’s cask is a 10 year old Bowmore, matured in first fill sherry casks (meaning the sherry effect is BIG) , and bottled at cask strength (above 56%). I am quite a fan of sherried Bowmores (for example the Laimrig 15 which is an older version of the Devil’s cask- sherry wise it’s only finished in Sherry and not aged entirely in sherry but you get the idea.. – see my review here).
So, now let’s cut to the chase, and sample this nectar, see what’s the buzz is all about…
Nose: Starts peaty, but not quite so much peat, a big bang of red fruit, to the point of being sort of marmalade-ish, and some dirty sherry notes, this is a big sherry Bowmore, and not that i had not expected it to be, I sure did. a bit of salty, or briny feel to it too, as well as tar and molasses. It’s big, but not very devilish…
Palate: Wham! this is a BIG whisky. quite an impact on first sip right there… quite oaky and peaty (lots of peat – for the peat freaks out there) and certainly a big sherry effect too as one can expect. more spices arrive on the 2nd wave of sensations, as well as some sweet marinated BBQ meat , ash and coal.
Finish: quite woody, with sherry going on a long way, the red fruit jam lingers as well as peat, and spices, it’s very dry.
Bowmore is on a roll, with recent Tempest bottlings, Laimrigs, and the Travel retail, they are becoming one of my favourite distilleries of recent… This whisky is no exception: It’s big and bold and tasty, and quite complex for a 10 year old dram, and I like it quite a bit. Having said that, there is no chance in HELL i am buying a bottle of this for more than the RRP, however good it is, there are other good malts around for saner prices. the devil, you know…
Cheers Ben for the sample