Bowmore 18yo Feis Ile 51.2%
Nose: Oloroso funk straight out the door. Super nutty and raisin heavy with a massive helping of black pepper stabbing at your nose. Bitter cocoa, blackjacks, gunpowder smoke, tar and some coastal salinity.
Palate: Much peatier than the nose with some classic Bowmore soot and burning rubber. Horlicks!, chocolate milkshake, aniseed, burnt toffee, charcoal, caramelised onion, manuka honey.
Mouthfeel: Oily, almost waxy with some subtle peppery heat.
Finish: A huge rush of liquorice and espresso which quietens down quickly. Russian caravan tea, hessian sacks, cardamom and a pleasant sulphur note with candle wax.
It’s been a while since I’ve tried a sherry cask I’ve enjoyed but this seriously hit the spot. The nose is ever so slightly hot, but at 51.2% the palate is balanced perfectly and does not suffer from the spice/pepper heavy complexion that so many sherry dominant malts fall foul of. This is big, powerful and rich without being overtly in your face or overpowering. That’s 2/2 to Bowmore for Feis Ile this year. Fantastic stuff.