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Review #2 of 12 from DC Whiskyfest 2018. I was only able to do 12 because I came down with something that afternoon that really messed with my head and stomach. I should have just stayed in the hotel room but I didn’t pay $350 for VIP tickets to sample my pillow!
No scores for anything sampled as I don’t think it would be fair.
Strong oak, vanilla and peat on the nose.
Vanilla, chocolate, peat, oak and pepper on the palate.
Not a huge promise of depth to be discovered but I could be wrong.
This? This is the bottle that could've gotten me into some serious trouble had I held a traditional office job. You see, a week after I opened it it remained on my desk, nestled between my monitor and my eye-masked, cat-eared phrenology head (long story). Now if I worked for a proper organization, one with an actual HR department and a no drinking policy, this would undoubtedly pose an issue. Probably not as much as the 50 shades of phrenology bust, but I digress... Fortunately I do not work for that type of organization. And considering "3 o-clock scotch" was one of the first traditions my business partner and I established almost a decade ago, discussing the day's events over a wee dram has proven to be anything but a cause for concern. Neither of us are remotely close to being viable candidates for a residency at Betty Ford. If anything, some of our most creative moments and profound epiphanies have occurred in conjunction with our midday malt. Nevertheless, when a bottle beckons in the middle of a webinar - or during a design meeting for your latest Facebook ad - taunting you to nail down its flavor profile, whether the moment is opportune or not it's like EF Hutton has spoken and so...you listen. And listen I did. For several days straight, in fact. Because the complexity contained within this bottle needed some serious revisiting and consideration. And this Hebridean gem was so worth the attention it demanded of me. Nose: Swishing it around my glass this 18 year old sports some serious legs. Leading with both smoke and peat, it's a quintessential Islay. While it offers the former in spades and the latter less so, the marriage of smoke and peat are beautifully balanced out by the perfect amount of sweetness from the ex-sherry casks. Palate: Remember the weird kid at summer camp who roasted everything BUT hot dogs or marshmallows over the camp fire? Now imagine a mandarin orange dangling precariously from the end of his roasting stick. That's what this Bowmore expression offers - an abundance of smoky, charred citrus, followed by dried apricots. Roasted nuts and dark chocolate soon follow, then on the back end finishing with a cinnamon bite somewhat akin of the tongue burn you get from drinking piping hot cocoa. Finish: This one is no shrinking violet. Its extended finish of toffee screams pairing with dry-rubbed ribs followed by a bourbon-soaked fruit cake. Enjoyed whilst in front of a roaring fireplace. And as the days grow short, in the late autumn of the year, some1960s-era Sinatra on loop would be the perfect accompaniment to this very - very - good dram.