SMWS 3.217 A Delicatessen Shopping Basket - 55.6%

So here we are with the first full bottle I bought when joining the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. It's a 16-year-old Bowmore, which was distilled September 25 1997. It's from a ex-Sherry refill butt and is one of 609 bottles. I quite like Bowmore as I've previously mentioned, but I've always found it a bit too tame. Not that tame is bad by any means but I found the 12 and the 15 lacked a bit of punch. However, this single cask bottling is right up my street, displaying more robust aromas and tastes. Yes, sir, I like it!

Nose: rum-soaked peat, damp leather, ash, bonfire smoke, thick honey, parma violets, cured meat, dried fruits, nectarines, baked plums, dates, and I get the brown sauce and sushi that's mentioned on the label (the power of suggestion? Possibly, but I definitely see where they are coming from)

Palate: It's rich and mouth-coating, with honey, golden syrup, tar, damp embers, dry, spicy oak, white pepper, slight marzipan and a billow of smoke assaults the senses once you give it a right good swirl!

Finish: Very long with lots of mouth-drying ash, but that sweet honey note continues right the way through. There's also stewed fruit tea and a hint of tobacco which lazily lingers at the back of the throat for absolutely ages.

Notes: My first full bottle purchase certainly wasn't a disappointment. This hit the spot nicely and showed me a different side to previous Bowmores I've tried. Along with my three 10cl samples, this has given me a great introduction to the Society and there will be many more bottles to come. In fact, I've just ordered two more from the May outturn...


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