It’s time to start sampling some of the bottling from this year’s Feis Ile (Islay Festival), beginning with this lovely Bowmore. Bowmore did two different bottles for this year’s Festival : The very expensive 26 year old 1988 vintage (at a whopping 350 quid – way out of my budget), and the NAS Virgin oak (at 55 quid). Luckily I was able to score a nice sample of the latter, which I’ve been told by friends who went to Islay, is quite good (As Billy would say).
Essentially this expression was matured in Virgin Oak (meaning fresh barrels which held no whisky or other spirit before), bottled at Cask Strength of 55.7% , a total of 1,000 bottles were offered to the public.
I am quite a fan of recent Bowmores, and it’s no secret they’ve been making some superb whisky in recent years, with the good things I heard, I decided to make this my first sample from FE 2015. Let’s get dramming.
Nose: Very nice nose on this one for sure : lovely creamy vanilla mixed with delicious wood smoke. Smoked meat platter, dough and more fruity goodness in the form of ripe melon and citrus fruit. Ripe citrus notes. Nuts and also some scotch tablet (you know the sort you eat, not an Ipad).
Palate: Creamy sweet and spicy. Lovely wood smoke and ample amounts of peat that would make any peat lover smile. Really well put together. Cinnamon and more sweet dough , milk chocolate and nutmeg , clove. A Salty sweet combination. With the wafts of peat smoke and delicious sweet wood smoke coming back and forth. Really awesome stuff over here.
Finish: Wood smoke. Creamy vanilla. Clove and milk chocolate and Mocha.
This is really a great little dram, so damn tasty, with the lovely wood smoke and sweet choclate-mocha combo, a sprinkle of salt and the cold cuts, you’re in peat heaven. Virgin oak can be too much for some spirits, but apparently here it just combines so well with the peated spirit, complimenting it and the interplay between sweetness,saltiness, and smoke is lovely. if you can get one at a decent price ( a lot of them are going on auction now – check SWA for example – here) , it’s really a no brainer. Brilliant stuff, and amazing Value for your money (at 55 that is, not at 100).