I fell in love with Bowmore’s exceptional Springtide a few weeks ago at BorderShop Whisky Festival. At the end of a long day of dramming, I went to the Beam Suntory booth and asked their Global Brand Ambassador Gordon Dundas, by whom I had just attended a fantastic masterclass, which of their many whiskies he would recommend as my last sip of the day. Obviously, it had to be a strong and sturdy one that could still make an impact on a palate that had already met its fair share of whiskies before. In an instant, Gordon walked over to the Bowmore range, grabbed the Springtide and poured me a dram, saying that this was one of his very favorite expressions by Islay’s oldest distillery. Although it comes as an NAS bottling, the youngest whisky used in this marriage of casks is 15 years of age, while most of the malts that found their way into the Springtide were matured for 20 years and longer. Also, this fine whisky was exclusively kept in hand-selected 1st and 2nd fill Oloroso sherry casks, which lend the liquid a wide variety of exquisite flavours. With regard to its history and complexion, I kind of see the Springtide as the “big brother” of Bowmore’s beloved 15yo Darkest and discontinued 15yo Laimrig – and this statement alone should be enough to tell you just how awesome of a malt this is!
Eye: Polished copper with a crimson tint. While this whisky’s full and shiny hue is amazing, it does not come from the casks alone, but has been enhanced with caramel coloring.
Nose: Just wow! When you draw the sumptuous Springtide to your nostrils, an infinity of rich, deep and sweet aromas unfold. One sniff is all it takes for the air to fill with ripe plums, sugared cherries, chewy butterscotch, lush spices and so much more!
Palate: The Springtide’s fine fragrance goes hand in hand with a tantalizing taste. On your tongue, this outstanding dram lays out a complex mosaic of flavours. It starts with sweet grapes, continues with dried berries and finally shifts towards well-aged oak. There might be a pinch of salt in there as well, but I did not make out any noticeable peat.
Finish: Of course, a whisky like this takes its time to exit the stage in style. The Springtide’s finish is stalwart, delicate and masterfully crafted. Of the many flavours it leaves behind, the blue grapes last the longest.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Aged: NAS (15+ Years)
Alc. volume: 54.9%
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~160.00 Euro
More info: http://www.bowmore.com (Distillery)