Nearly a month ago, at the last whisky tasting at Buehrmann Weine, I’ve bought a bottle of Bowmore Darkest 15 out of 3 reasons. None of the candidates we could try at the tasting really got me, as you might know I like the Islay malts a lot and last but not least my Bowmore Enigma is still among the top drinks in my collection.
So here it is now, the tasting notes of the Bowmore Darkest, a whisky that caught my attention just because of its name over a year ago.
And the name fits quite right for the liquid in my glass with a very dark but still a bit golden sheen.
Surprisingly for an Islay whisky there is not much smoke in the first nose you get from the Bowmore. It’s more about cocoa from very dark chocolate. The typical Islay smoke takes some time to evolve in the glass and mixes with some ‘needle stings’ in your nose from the alcohol.
Inside the mouth you’ll experience explosion of caramel that clings to the tongue and I have to say that I have never tasted a whisky with such an intense caramel chocolate flavour before. This taste lasts for 2 or 3 seconds and its then replaced by a slight sweet bitterness of wood.
The finish is not very intense but very nice and subtle. It is a combination of heavy molasses, a tiny bit of smoke and wood flavors. Same as the Enigma the Darkest shows a more and more complex character with the second and third sip. Several other whiskies show directly what they can offer on touching your tongue for the first time but for Bowmore it seems to be a speciality of the brand to always offer something new and sometimes to really surprise even on the second time you drink it. I’d say it is a perfect malt to drink while reading a good book near the fireplace.
I would suggest not to drink the Bowmore after a real peaty Islay candidate like a Ardbeg Ten or a Lagavulin because it is much more subtle and doesn’t hit you with so much smoke. All the complexity would be repressed by the ‘peaty bastards’. That being said the Bowmore Darkest is another great whisky in my collection and I have to say that all the other Bowmore creations get more and more interesting to me.
For people interested in top-lists I’d say that this malt is among my top 5 at the moment, not counting candidates in price ranges over 100€ like the Ardberg Galileo, which was really great but nothing I’d buy for myself.