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Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest Impressions


What is it? 

Distillery: Bowmore, Islay, Scotland
Name: 15 Year Old Darkest
Make: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Extra Info: Bowmore's warehouses form part of the town's flood defenses and are often battered by the waters of Loch Indaal. This no doubt contributes to the distillery's terroir since the sea facing walls spend most of their time soaked in sea water.

Why did I buy it?

This Bowmore was the first whisky I bought that was finished in sherry casks. The 15 Year Old Darkest spends the first 12 years aging in ex-bourbon American oak barrels and then the last three years in ex-Spanish oloroso sherry European oak casks.

What did I think of it?

Presentation: The bottle has squarer sides and shoulders to your typical whisky bottle and the clear glass allows the natural deep colour of the whisky to star. The label is nothing fancy with some info about the distillery embossed into the glass beneath it. It is hard to confuse a Bowmore bottle for any other.

Appearance: Deep copper orange in colour, a dead giveaway of the long sherry cask finish. No need to add caramel colouring, but it is no doubt chill-filtered to preserve a clear finish. 

Aroma: There is a little smoke, but not as much as you would expect from a peated Islay malt or even a younger Bowmore. Strong sherry notes and accompanying aromas of holiday desserts like Christmas pudding, cream, raisins and bitter dark chocolate.

Flavour: A little spice with well-integrated smoke. The peat does not overpower the whisky but instead blends expertly with the sherry flavours to create a smooth pleasant taste.

Finish: Long, with fading spice.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, this is a superb whisky and great example of a sherry finish that is complimented by a little peat smoke rather than being overpowered by it. As with most sherried whiskies, the Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest is a great way to finish the day and the modest 43% ABV makes it quite palatable without dilution for the majority of drinkers.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have the nose and palate of a Master Sommelier, however, I am working to train my senses to better identify whisky aromas and flavours. Consider all my whisky 'Impressions' to be a work in progress and I hope to come back to each of them in the future to see if I notice anything different. Most importantly, I'm not just throwing around random aromas, flavours and adjectives for the hell of it; I am trying really hard to critically describe each whisky I taste - WhiskyDad.


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