Bowmore 17 Years Old 1998 – 3.243 Dark smouldering flamenco gypsy

Islay single malt scotch whisky

57.1% ABV, £80 / members, £120 non-members for 70cl from Scotch Malt Whisky Society at Islay House on 22nd May 2015

Score 86/100

IslayHouseFI2015

What they say:

Cask No. 3.243

Wow – so much on the nose – sherry, tarry wood, clean smoke, dates, figs, roasted chestnuts, Christmas spices, egg custard, maple syrup-glazed pork ribs and HP sauce on bacon rolls. The palate was substantial – liquorice, treacle toffee, coffee and chocolate, with caramelised onions and Demerara-smothered, clove-studded ham over embers. The reduced nose suggested spiced prunes, Branston pickle, fig rolls, treacle tart, duck in plum sauce and warm welly boots by a dying bonfire. The reduced palate’s smoke and sherry combination gave us interest and pleasure – the toffee and oloroso, toasted almonds and barbecued meats gave it a dark, smouldering flamenco gypsy personality.

Drinking tip: Between dances at a Spanish barbecue party. Flavour profile: Peated. Cask: Refill ex-sherry butt. Age: 17 Years. Colour: Coca-Cola spilled on mahogany.

Hello Whisky Loving Friend

For the first time ever, the Society will be hosting an Open Day at Islay’s world-famous Feis Ile 2015. The Open Day takes place on the beautiful lawns at Islay House on Fri 22 May. In celebration we’re releasing a limited edition festival bottling – available to members and non-members alike.

SMWS 3.243

What I say:

Well what a lovely gift! Only the second free sample received here at The Whiskyphiles, this delivery by the eponymous ‘Whisky Fairy’ came courtesy of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. I have hugely enjoyed being a member of this Society for the last 8 months or so. This marks a new venture for the SMWS. Actively taking part in the 2015 Islay Festival of Music and Malt, otherwise known as Feis Ile, for the first time. In conjunction with the newly refurbished Islay House Hotel, the SMWS will be opening the Feis Ile 2015 celebrations with this bottling of Bowmore (SMWS Distillery #3)

Colour:

Autumn leaves / russet gold (12/20), medium/thick tears light trails

Nose:

Sea spray and caramel salted peanuts, salt and sweet popcorn, sherry wood, old leather, cocoa dusted almonds, char sui pork, sweet and perfumed, gentle floral notes but also open fire pit or bbq, old woody rosemary burning under a maple-glazed ham, some fruity notes of apricot and fig chutney served alongside

Taste:

Warming and lively at first and a lot thinner (less syrupy) in texture than expected from the nose, spiced with mixed peppercorns, some fibrous peat, perfumed lavender and rosemary essential oils, moves into more savoury clove and mace before becoming medicinal with aniseed and liquorice. Cured spiced meats, allspice, maple syrup, bbq pork again with chutney, sweet red onion, fig and apricot, and a dash of balsamic vinegar, before sweet caramelised toffee, cinnamon hints and a little bubblegum

Finish:

Medium-long, spiced gingerbread (starts to dry) but moist fruitcake with a dash of shellfish, oysters or smoked mussels adds a twist

Overall:

Very enjoyable, quite chewy with a spiced peaty toffee overall feel to it. There were gentle reminders in here that this is undoubtedly an Islay dram, with the sea-spray and shellfish. A wonderful cask selection for the Society’s first foray into Feis Ile!