I already reviewed Bowmore 18 Years four years ago, but since then it received a reworked label design. It never hurts revisiting some classics once in a while. It is a combination of ex-bourbon and Oloroso casks.
Bowmore 18 yo (43%, OB +/- 2022)
Nose: a nice mix of smoke and chocolate. Warm ashes, mingling with brown sugar, blackberry and raspberry jam and nice tobacco notes. Dry seaweed and orange peels underneath. A little vanilla. Leathery notes as well. In the end a hint of sweetened black tea appears.
Mouth: a fruity side at first (blackcurrants, dark plums, raisins) with a slightly floral and mentholated freshness. Nothing perfumy though, in case you started to be afraid. Then more chocolate hints and an orange peel note. Mid-palate it is lacking a bit of punch but there’s reasonable peat and depth, as well as some nice echoes of tropical fruits. Oily notes towards the end.
Finish: medium length, with more ashy notes, orange peels, raisins and cocoa.
A nicely balanced Islay whisky, perhaps a little gentle for some due to the modest ABV. Better than I remembered in any case, showing a great hint of tropical fruits that I really love in older Bowmore. A good choice if you’re looking for something smoky with sherry influence, and possibly my favourite expression in the core range. Available from The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt among others.