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Bowmore 15 ‘Darkest’ (2013, OB, 43%)

We’re going to held soon a tasting at Harp Pub, here in Milan. We’ll try to compare the different regional style and the different type of maturation (ex-bourbon, ex-sherry…). Talking about Islay, we chose a Caol Ila single cask and this Bowmore 15 yo, which owes its name (and colour) to the three years finish in ex-Oloroso casks. Let’s sniff it together…

15yearsolddarkest

N: the Bowmore’ soul is suddenly recognizable. It shows a wonderful maritime side, with citrusy nuances (we could imagine sea foam splashing on a carpet of lime and candied lemons). Here a new chapter begins: a hint of caramel turning into fresh figues and tamarind. There’s a light smokiness, in perfect B. style, impossible to overlook. It’s also rather woody. Extinguished embers.

P: the body is delightful but not so bold. The sherry influence is stronger compared to the nose, rounding up and taming the distillate: it covers the spirit with a dense layer of licorice, caramel and fruits (apples, stewed prunes, canned peaches). The “typically Bowmore” peat, distinctly maritime, produces a soapy and minty taste, not overwhelming but still noticeable.

F: fruity again, slightly smoky and… chinotto! Not very long (the finish, not the chinotto…).

Despite the strong sherry influence, it remains bowmorish. Nicely balanced between Islay peat, fruit and woody caramel. It’s not too complex, we admit: anyway, it’s a people-pleasey malt, produced exactly to be enjoyed by the consumers. It does the job perfectly, and we enjoyed it, too: 85/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Megadeth – In my darkest hour.

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