Our friend Jens Unterweger has proven time and again that he has a fine nose for finding the best cask out of a series. Did he do it again? Read my review here:
„Kirschschnapps with cereals“ I’d call it. This dram reveals a nice cherry aroma on a solid malty core, also dried flowers, hay straws, scorched earth, gentian, ginger, chili, lemon zest and peach liqueur. There is a good balance between the Bourbon wood and the fruit. Enjoyable! 88 points.
„A bright version of a Christmas Cake“ is my reference here. Ruben said he didn’t get this dram completely. Let’s try it for ourselves: There is a well-integrated sweetness of sherry-related aromas just like in a soaked chocolate cake (with Port and Sherry) plus the dried fruits like raisins, dates, figs, cherries etc. I like the blood orange and cinnamon in the second row. It tastes not too dry for a sherry-matured dram with earthy and peaty undertones (discrete though) and wonderful Asian spices in the finish. Good stuff for under the tree! 89 points.
Can this one follow its 90-point predecessor from 2012 (Duck series)? Yes it can, it is a fat and oily woodworm on vanilla, coconut and loads of Bourbon character (Willett?). Baileys Irish Whiskey Creme and creme brulee, almonds, macadamia, pineapple, peaches and other tropical fruits chime in. But you have to like oak. The fruit oils and coconut taste plus so much more are amazing on the palate. As mentioned before, I love how Glen Keith translates the Bourbon character into the Scotch realm, they must have had great casks back then which fitted the dram perfectly. 90 points.
„Aldi chocolate-gingerbread hearts with cherry-filling“ – another one for under the tree. It starts off on leather, sherry and raisins. The sherry aromas are big, a touch too much for my personal taste as it bulldozes the salty and maritime distillery character a bit. Maraschino cherry, cardamom, white pepper, dates and figs stand in second row, but this dram is not overly complex altogether, a bit plump. Not bad though. 86 points.
A leafy and leathery (tannic) Clynelish with medium-strength sherry influence, not very typical at first, but then getting more ’normal‘ on beeswax, Atlantic depression and apples. I am also getting sea air, soy sauce, peaches, pears, spices, caramel and gentle smoke in fine balance. 88+ points.
„Beachfront BBQ with high class seafood at the Mediterranean sea“ – these words characterize the dram best. This amazing Bowmore displays aromas of grilled crayfish (langostin), lobster butter, oysters, green herbs, freshly cut cactus, cabbage (cole slaw) by the sea, pine needles, leather, cedar wood, peat smoke, childrens steam train, struck matches, English gunpowder tea and quite some soot. The sherry notes are maybe not too integrated but ride on top beautifully (morello cherry) and match the profile that is rounded off by smells of a walk in the woods close to the sea. What a great dram with impeccable balance and adventurous spirit! This could the best cask out of the series. 91+ points.