Bowmore 10 Year old Tempest Batch 5

Bomore Tempest V
Distillery/Brand: Bowmore | Region: Islay | ABV: 55.9% | Color: Sunlight
Nose: 23 | Taste: 23 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 23 | Rating: 92

Review
It’s been a month since my last review. Not that I was short of any whiskies to drink. Far from it. It’s just that I like to take an alcohol sabbatical once every year just to take a break and replenish my self both physically and mentally.

My first two weeks go by in a flash and I barely even think about what I’ve given up. In the third week I start preparing for all the expressions I’m going to be tasting once the month is up. By the fourth I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love the most.

And so it’s really important that I pick a solid expression that I know for sure will not disappoint. There’s nothing like waiting for something for such a long time and discovering it tastes like piss. I hate that.

So I decided to pick the latest Bowmore Tempest Batch 5 as my first whisky of the new season. Because I figured if it’s anything like the last batch it was going to be cracking.

Matured for ten years in Bowmores’ legendary No1 Vault in first-fill bourbon barrels this is allegedly a small batch release. I say allegedly because I don’t know how many bottles make up a small batch. I think anything under 6000 should be small. I think.

Nose: Quite lovely. Very fresh. It’s sweet, almost winey. Like a tart chardonnay. Mixed with a lot of bright lime juice and mild vanilla extract. Dark cocoa tossed in coarse sea salt and crushed cornflakes. Cinnamon sprinkled on juicy nectarines.

Palate: Quite a kick! Strong lemon sweet candies and fiery white pepper prickles. Mandarins become the sweeter citrus. Dark unsweetened cocoa. Adding a few drops of water makes it more herbaceous and adds a touch of garam masala. (I prefer it without the water, though.)

Finish: Long. Very oily. Very chewy. Salty. Peppery with honey cocoa.

This is a great series by Bowmore (who I’m increasingly beginning to like) that is nurtured well and executed with amazing skill.

Rating: 92

Bowmore 10 Year old Tempest Batch 2

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Distillery/Brand: Bowmore
Region: Islay
ABV: 56%
Colour: Pale Straw

Nose: 24
Taste: 24
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Review
I have a funny history with Bowmore. I don’t consider them one of the greats because they tend to cut loose some questionable expressions every now and then. But my friend Nitin is infatuated with them and so I don’t lose faith entirely.

And for that I’m glad because this bottling of Bowmore is possibly one of the best expressions from the distillery I have ever tasted!

Nose: Full of coastal sea air with mild peaty overtones. Water chestnuts dipped in caramel, seasoned with clove and liberally sprinkled with salty grewia (falsa in my language) make for one of the more wonderful noses I have come across of late. Let it open up and there emerges maple syrup on pancake covered in dark berries.

Palate: Intense marmalade cooked in dark honey lathered on top of chocolate fudge and sprinkled with a decadent dash of expensive cinnamon. I can hardly tell this is 56% ABV.

Finish: Long and dreamy with a brown sugar espresso steeped in clove.

Nitin, I think I now know where your fascination stems from.

Rating: 94