Nice nose! Creamy, full, velvety, redolent of Bowmore's trademark buttery, leathery smoke. Simultaneously sweet and savory, with an emphasis on the former. Cherry marmalade spilled all over an old leather sofa sitting by an autumnal bonfire, that kind of thing. Not very complex, but de-li-cious, and as well-rounded as a pebble washed smooth by the tides. Water increases the peatiness (or invokes it in the first place).
In the mouth, it's decidedly less creamy and polished. The letdown arrives with a very slight alcoholic nip and a mouthfeel that is juuuust a bit too watery. Also, the red wine casks make their presence felt right after we've crossed the mid-palate, with spiky, tart tannins that do not mesh well with the whispering softness of the nose. Like many wine-cask matured whiskies, this one is front-loaded, boasting a good attack that closely dovetails the nose only to veer off course after the midway point and end up in a jumble of winey overlay and acerbic tanninicity.
A game of two halves, then: A simple but immaculate nose; an incongruous palate that is ultimately spoiled by the use of wine casks. Too bad, really.