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Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Devil Is In The Detail - Bowmore The Devil's Casks Single Malt Scotch Whisky

A very short post, doubling up as a bit of a rant:

Please, please, please... if you run a distillery and have an 'innovation' department, can we please encourage you to do at least a basic review of other brand’s products in the marketplace before you craft your marketing for a new release.

Let’s say that maybe one island-based Scotch producer had twice used the devil in their releases. And maybe even a major American whiskey distiller had too... well, then maybe don’t use it for your newest release. Especially when the liquid inside is really quite good.

Bowmore – The Devil’s Casks – 10 Years Old – 6000 bottles – 56.9% abv - RRP £50.99

Note: matured in 100% sherry casks

Nose: A big hit of peat and salt at the start which develops into Battenburg cake, a hint of vintage engine oil and new leather (nubuck). There is certainly a tarry element to this, which isn’t a bad thing as it adds some real depth and body to the liquid.

Palate: This dram needs water to open and, quite frankly, take some of the aggression which it has at 56.9% away. Once watered, it gives plums, red apples, quince cheese, damson jelly, cigar box and some quite earthy tones of high quality dark chocolate, all wrapped up in smoked ham.

Finish: Again, a good slug of water is needed to bring the very best out of this dram. The finish lingers with brooding smoke and the plums hanging around, in a big, juicy capacity right to the end.

Overall: A very good whisky which is remincient of some of the single cask first fill sherry casks of Bowmore which have been released by the SMWS recently. The price point feels right for this whisky (after their seemingly ‘expensive’ offering of Auchentoshan which we reviewed last week) and the decision to bottle at such high strength is admirable, even though it really does need water to open up. Think of this as the sherry equivlient to Tempest, which itself has been consistently accepted as quality liquid, from batch-to-batch.

So, great liquid. The devil really is in the detail. It’s just a shame that he stayed in the blending room and didn’t make his way to the marketing department for this release.