Here we are, into day two of Master Quill’s Bowmore Week. This review will be about a Bowmore from Cadenhead’s new Small batch series. Just like with the Original Series (46% ABV) and the Authentic Series (cask strength), the small batches come in at 46% or cask strength. The 46% versions in this new Small Batch Series come in this round dumpy bottle as depicted below, whereas the Cask strength versions come in more square dumpy bottles. Like Glenfarclas used a long time ago. The only difference between the Original and the Authentic Collection and the Small Batch bottling is that the latter is in almost all the cases a bottling of two casks where the former were single cask bottlings. This may be a golden opportunity for Cadenheads to mix two casks that can complement each other, where single cask bottlings will always show the flaws of that one cask. A year prior (2012), Cadenheads have already bottled two Bourbon Hogshead Bowmore’s in the Authentic Collection, which could be nice for comparison.
Color: White Wine
Nose: Butter, cookie dough and flowery peat. A very feminine profile. It’s flowery and perfumy without it being FWP or soapy. Citrussy and very light on peat. Hints of (tarry) wood and salt. Fat light peat and licorice. Quite “simple” on the nose compared to yesterday’s standard 12yo. This one has to breathe a bit and needs a bit of warmth to fully release its aroma’s. The longer it stands the more smoky it gets, kippers. Coastal.
Taste: Very well integrated Bowmore. A sweet and very full body, yet not heavy and quite un-complex. Good sweetness. Hints of mocha and cappuccino. A nice peppery bite and citrus with custard. Lemon sherbet. Nice hints of wood. Extremely drinkable, but also quite simple. The pepper is an added bonus. The finish is not too long though, and the pepper stays with you longer than the finish does.
Where the nose needed a little time to show itself, the taste is immediately up front without a lot of evolution. But when its good from the start who needs evolution? Very nice and simple profile, but as I said before, not very complex, but immediately likeable and extremely drinkable. I do like it.