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A well aged offering from Bowmore, Islay’s oldest distillery. This dram has been aged initially in former Bourbon barrels, before a finishing period in Oloroso Sherry casks. Darkest is a fitting name, with the final spirit a rich, dark whisky packed with dried fruit and warming peat.
Bowmore is a rarity in the whisky industry, in that it has retained its in-house floor maltings. This means the distillery continues to produce a portion (around 40%) of its own malted barley, ensuring it has a truly distinctive character. Only a handful of distilleries have maintained this practice, with Bowmore’s Islay neighbour Kilchoman amongst them.
One of the oldest distilleries still operational in Scotland, Bowmore was established in 1779. It has found continued success with its mediumly peated, rather floral spirit. This 15 year old offering is a perfect example of the house style.
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Bowmore’s signature floral peat comes through immediately, followed by fragrances of salted caramel, sultanas, prunes and dark chocolate.
Again, the Sherry cask seems to have had a greater impact than the Bourbon, with notes of dried fruit, toasted hazelnut and chocolate fudge dominating. A gentle peat builds with time.
Long and sweet, with further fig, raisin and dried cherry flavours. Charred oak and lip-smacking wood ash linger.