Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Whisky Discovery #288

Bowmore 12 Year Old 'Enigma' (40% abv, OB, 2011, 1ltr)
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Circa £40.00 (Travel Retail Exclusive)
Bowmore's Travel Retail 12 Year Old
The Bowmore Enigma is a 12 Year Old whisky normally only available in 'duty free' shops for travel retail, however I have seen it advertised for sale in the usual on-line whisky stores.

This bottle has been on my shelf for a long while before I got around to opening it. It should have been my first Bowmore of my journey, but with so many things going on I never got around to opening it until the weekend before Christmas. It was given to me by a friend who had been on a business trip in France or Germany and saw that it was on offer at two (litre) bottles for £55.00. He bought a pair and sent one over for me, arriving at Whisky Discovery HQ way back in March on the first International Whisky Day!

This 12 Year Old Bowmore is an unusual expression of Bowmore boasting a higher proportion of sherry matured spirit in its make-up, resulting in a much richer and sweeter style.

So What Did We Think?

You'll have noticed (hopefully) that I've been blogging alone for a few posts recently, that's because Kat has been busy with an Open University Degree course, and has a pile of assignments to complete which understandably take priority over writing her thoughts about the different whiskies we're tasting. She has still been tasting most of the whiskies with me though, and shared this one with me on the Sunday after Christmas.

The Enigma's colour is quite a rich bronze colour, however it would be because colouring has unfortunately been added. I'm not sure if the colouring has any effect on the taste of the whisky as have heard conflicting stories from both sides of the camp, however, I just feel it shouldn't be necessary any more, let the whisky take on it's own colour from ageing in the casks, and who cares if there is a variation from one batch to the next? Well that just my personal opinion.

On the nose this has a subdued Islay smoky peat, rich sherried fruits and malty toffee notes. The sherried fruit notes get stronger with more time in the glass, as does the toffee notes which start to turn more like toffee popcorn. Breathe deeply and there is the zest of a lemon. With water the maritime notes develop giving some fresh seaweed aromas. The nose really appealed to me, and I could quite happily sit nosing and sipping this one all evening.

On the palate it is quite sweet initially but slowly builds up to a hot and spicy kick on the tongue which quickly subsides returning to sweet toffee flavours before a robust smokiness pushes through with the faintest touch of salty brine.

The finish is long with a little white pepper, a salty sweetness and a dying smoky peat fire gradually fading. I'm really enjoying this Bowmore and wish I had opened it earlier. The nose is rich and fruity with the gentle smoke underlying and in the mouth it's full on and almost chewy. This is definitely worth slipping into your bag on your way home.

(Photo credits to my youngest daughter - she made me add this last line)

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