Colour: deep amber.
Nose: starts as animal as a fairly young sherried Bowmore can get. Hare’s belly (readers keep asking us if we mean Halle Berry and we keep answering no!), old leather, pipe tobacco, strong liquorice, then new leather (very vivid), dried kelp, seashells, raw chocolate, cigar box, freshly ground pepper (huge) and dried mushrooms (boletus). Wonderfully organic, lovers of the genre will adore this one.
With water (‘though water may not be needed): more leather and more game.
Mouth (neat): extremely thick, rich, creamy, almost ‘screamingly’ concentrated. Heavy peat and heavy sherry, which creates a huge ‘sweet spiciness’. Gingerbread, crystallised oranges, tangerine liqueur, honey and pepper liqueur (it’s called Slavyanskaya in Russia), cardamom again, baklavas… How rich!
With water: it got even spicier and drier, and more orangey at the same time. Strictly no offbeat notes and no sulphur/rubber, which isn’t too frequent with heavily sherried peaty whiskies.
Finish: very long, orangey and leathery, with quite some salt now (more salt when naked, less when reduced).
Comments: for lovers of strong sensations. I’d love to try this after twenty years of bottle ageing. SGP:467 - 90 points.