Single malt whisky - tasting notes

28 Sep 2009

Bowmore Tempest

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Bowmore

Described as being “unlike any other Bowmore single malt”, the long-anticipated Bowmore Tempest is a small batch release of only 2000 cases from Islay’s oldest distillery.

It’s great that Bowmore doesn’t follow the trend to make big profits on limited (young) bottlings. This 10 year-old cask strength Tempest costs around € 45. Quite fair.


Bowmore Tempest 56.3%

Bowmore 10yo Tempest
(56,3%, OB 2009, Batch #1, 12.000 btl.)

Nose: a fresh mix of orange marmalade and sea air. Nice and soft, citrus is the main component here. Then the floral notes appear, with hints of violets. Totally different than those soapy lavender Bowmores though. Strawberry candy! Sultanas. Some vanilla cream as well. Some maritime notes and ginger syrup. Mouth: citrus again, but the peat kicks in now. Nice evolution with rather big salty notes, oranges, a little sherry and a nice bitterness. Earthy smoke. Some pepper. Finish: medium length on salt, iodine and slightly bitter green tea.

I have not been a fan of recent official Bowmores, but the least you can say is that this is a nice surprise! The nose is very pleasant and this Tempest is a fresh, enjoyable dram overall. Very good value for money.

Score: 89/100

Bowmore Tempest 4 Ruben Luyten 2009-09-28
  • gal granov

    Why is that so many islay fans do not
    Like the bow?
    I have only the NAS legend and it’s a fine dram
    And very affordable

  • Ruben

    Bowmore Legend is not bad but it’s not great either. In fact, over the last 10 years Bowmore didn’t release many great (standard) malts in my humble opinion. I think of Dusk / Darkest / Dawn, the inconsistent Mariner and all the problems with lavender / soapy notes. They’ve started to regain quality with the recent branding makeover (new bottle shape + new batches), and independent Bowmores were always a bit better.

  • gal

    ruben, can u add “email me” when more people reply to the post add-on? i sometimes post and want to see other people/your replies, and your blog is missing this plugin. u run wordpress, so its easy. 10x

  • gal

    ah, excellent!
    thanks Ruben and keep the reviews flowing.
    we love it

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  • aw

    Wow! At last – a Bowmore that I really like (haven’t tried the older / expensive ones tho). This is impressive, juicy, fruity, mouth-watering stuff with some decent complexity.

    With such flavour, at cask strength, non-chill-filtered, and an inexpensive price, there’s a lot to love. (It’s still “mit Farbstoff” though; guess they couldn’t bring themselves to bottle a pale-looking liquid. Pity.)

    The only thing I didn’t get from this was peat. Bowmore is known for “medium peat”; I’d say this was “light”, going on “very light”. But maybe it’s me. I’ll try again and see what happens. I’d say that with a bit more peat, this would be absolutely wonderful. Maybe I’ll try mixing in some Ardbeg 10 and see what happens… certainly the citrus of Ardbeg is going to have no quarrel with this Bowmore.

    Strongly recommended! Can’t wait to try it again.

  • gal

    Ah, just go this baby today! cant wait to open it this evening and try it.
    will it be the killer bowmore?
    at CS, i hope so.
    will update :)


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  • Marc

    Is the new Bowmore Tempest Feis Ile 2010 release any different to the one you’ve reviewed above? Or is it just a new batch recreating the previous bottling? I won a bottle of the new one, and it says it is batch 1, is it then batch 1 of the 2010 release? Sometimes the distilleries aren’t clear enough on their labels IMO, particularly when us whisky-nerds want to know all the finer details.

  • Ruben

    From what I’ve heard, it’s still the same batch as the common release (i.e. the one reviewed above), only now in a fancy box with a signature of Eddie MacAffer. I agree that there have been mixed messages about this.

  • Marc

    Thanks Ruben. And the limited to 500 bottles? Does that mean that only 500 were repackaged and signed? If so, it is very misleading; one automatically thinks that limited to 500 would be a batch of whisky that only produced 500 bottles, not that only 500 out of 2000 cases were packaged differently. (Not sure what was repackaged either, bottle looks identical to your image above.)

  • Ruben

    You’re right: the bottle and tube are identical. The medal around the neck is new though! So much for its uniqueness…

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WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.