Bowmore 10 yo 'Tempest' (56.3%, OB, first fill bourbon, Batch #1, 2009) Colour: gold. Nose: punchy, clean, crisp, peaty, coastal, mineral and slightly lemony. Not aggressive, flawless – so far. With water: this is interesting, it gets rather more spirity and aggressive when diluted, as if water had unleashed some kind of tincture or iodine and mercurochrome (is that the ‘tempest’?). But it’s soon to calm down, getting more complex, with aromas that are usually to be found in much older Islayers, such as camphor and pu-erh tea. Mouth (neat): the most superb combination of peat, lemon, pepper and iodine that one could taste, with a few spices from the oak in the background (the usual nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger). It’s no overly complex whisky but once again, the balance is impressive. And it’s so drinkable at cask strength! With water: once again, complexity arrives with water. More herbs and even pine resin, the only thing that’s just a tad disturbing is a slight ‘new oak’ note (a little too much ginger/nutmeg for my taste). But that’s nothing. Finish: long, clean and perfectly balanced once again. And very fresh. Maybe a tad sweeter than before (marmalade?) Comments: it’s great that the Distillery joined the many independents who already issued superb young clean Bowmores in recent times, even if this Tempest is a little sweeter than most. A lovable 10yo. SGP:457 - 88 points.
Serge Valentin, Whiskyfun