Bowmore Small Batch Reserve – Bourbon Cask Matured
Islay single malt scotch whisky
40% ABV, £25 for 70cl
What they say:
40% abv | Exclusively matured in first and second fill ex bourbon casks, then blissfully married together.
Good Things Come In Small Batches
Exclusively matured in first and second fill ex bourbon casks, then blissfully married together, Small Batch exhibits the best qualities of both. First-fill bourbon offers delicious vanilla sweetness, subtle spices and bourbon oak smoke to complement Bowmore’s gentle peaty smokiness, while the second-fill cask enhances Bowmore’s fresh fruity complexity and showcases its trademark honey and creamy malt character.
On the eye warm gold.
Breathe in vanilla fudge, sea air and peat smoke, balanced beautifully by honeycomb and cinnamon spice.
Sip mouth-watering citrus, gentle saltiness and vanilla with flakes of coconut.
Savour the wispy smoke, bourbon vanilla and lime finish.
What I say:
Dram #5 at the WOLS Burns Tasting 22/01/2015 was this Bowmore Small Batch – Bourbon Cask Matured release. This no-age statement (NAS) release was originally released as the Small Batch Reserve Bourbon Cask Matured before being repackaged with the word Reserve taken out. Presumably this must have been to prevent any confusion surrounding the idea that Bowmore distillery were producing small batch Bourbon Whiskey (instead of scotch single malt matured in ex-bourbon casks) – one can only assume? At present this appears to be Bowmore’s entry-level malt
Full amber gold (10/20) with medium tears
Malty cereal barley, vanilla cream/custard, some depth in the peaty earthy aromas, floral, orange blossom citrus, peat smoke, dusty ash, beef monster munch (corn snacks) and burnt toast
Cereal barley malt, marmite on brown toast, dusty smoky peat, creamy vanilla custard and coconut
Long peaty and creamy, some citric lime foam
Pleasantly surprised. There were some tasters to whom this was not appealing. Compared against some of the other recent very citric and zesty lemon/limey Bowmore expressions I was really impressed. For an entry-level malt this has some depth of malt and peat and some complexity and real body to it, without revealing too much zesty youthfulness. I would happily dram this at this price!
Don’t take my word for it: