Watching a dram of Bowmore 15 Years Old Darkest sway in the glass is a bit like seeing an immortal icon of tinseltown – like Joseph Cotton or Gregory Peck – on the silver screen. There is something awe-inspiring about it. Something graceful. Something timeless. Sure, these are big words. But at least for me, they are 100 per cent true. No matter how often I do so, spending time with the flagship bottling from Islay’s oldest distillery will always be a special, highly rewarding experience. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels for twelve years and finished in sherry casks for another three years, Bowmore’s sublime 15 Years Old is a prime example of a not-too-peaty but oh-so-good Islay malt. You are looking for an “A list” dram to fill a leading role in your whisky cabinet? Here it is!
INFO: Last year, Bowmore removed the supplement "Darkest" from the whisky's name. The content of the bottle, however, remained untouched.
Eye: Full brown with an orange tint.
Nose: Opulent, aromatic and balanced. In short: an Oscar worthy bouquet! Ripe grapes and soft strawberries share the limelight with burnt sugar and toasted wood. A drop of vinegar, a bit of sulfur, a whiff of smoke and a somewhat flowery scent add further complexity to the 15-year-old’s impressive aroma montage.
Palate: A tannin-laden, but not uber-sherried Islay whisky. The first thing I sense is sea salt, which then makes room for dried fruits, dark berries, charcoaled wood and prancing smoke. The liquid is dryish in the mouth and it neither feels too sweet nor too fruity. There is no overacting to be found here; just immensely talented performing.
Finish: During its long farewell waltz, this Bowmore gets sweeter again. It ends on cherries, plums, grapes and brittle. Also some ashy smoke from one of those long cigarette thingies that a seductress would puff in a classic Crime Noir movie.
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Age: 15 years old
Alc. volume: 43 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~55.00 Euro
More info: http://www.bowmore.com (Distillery)