Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Islay Single Malt Whisky
Found in the capital of Islay, Bowmore distillery is the oldest (legal) distillery on Islay and the second oldest in Scotland(1779). It was used as a coastal command operations centre during WWII. Along with Laphroaig (and the new distillery, Kilchoman?), Bowmore has a functioning malting floor where they malt a fraction of their own requirements. There is a special waste-heat recovery system used to provide hot air during a major part of the kilning stage of malting the barley. Excess energy is used to heat the community pool (built in warehouse No. 3)
Peach preserve, smoke, croissants, peat, has a syrupy smell texture if you get what I mean. Raisins and earth. Salt and bile.
Burnt wood, peat smoke, pepper, and an underlying apricot jam sweetness. The smell of cleaning agents, stomach acid. Iodine. Some sherry sweeness, too. Slight antiseptic effect of numbing the tongue, which is strange at this strength. Butter fried fish and seaweed. Flavour develops and changes, very interesting. Finishes like sucking on a smoker's fingers.
Not for everyone. This stuff is, I think, the peatiest whisky I have had so far in this malt mission and this early in the morning I can really appreciate that peat is an acquired taste, and not to be acquired by everyone. With so much good whisky out there, one need not ever venture to the peat of Islay. That being said, this is a great value whisky that has a complex character that would satisfy the smoke craving, without doubt.
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