Bowmore Distillery, on the famous whisky producing island of Islay, has created some of the best whiskies money can buy; it has also produced some very inexpensive whiskies that are a must try for the budgeted whisky connoisseur.
One of my favourite characters from the distillery is the Bowmore Black Rock. It is very unique in that it is standardly bottled in 1l measures as opposed to the usual 75cl. This makes it, from the outset, something of a novelty. It celebrates the heritage and landscape of Islay by coining the name “Black Rock” and backs up the title with a complex, sweet, caramelly flavour.
This whisky is roughly in the middle of our £100 market and can be found in online whisky shops at around the £50 mark; note that this has gone up in price over the past few months as I think it is going to get very popular. Despite the more intermediate price tag you do get that little bit more for your money than a standard bottling, so this should be a great consideration for your collection.
On the eye this whisky has a rich dark amber hue reminiscent of mulled cider. Very inviting colouration that evokes thoughts of fruitiness and spiciness.
On the nose there is a lot going on here; stewed soft fruits with molasses and honey open the initial scents with subtle background suggestions of toffee apples, figs and a slight oaky tobacco leaf.
The palette finds the flavours of toffee and spiced fruits straight away with a vanilla twist being added to the mix. A salted caramel wave also encompasses the fruitiness, homage to the salty environment perhaps? Wait a moment and that vanilla, oaky, peaty flavour lingers on the tongue.
The finish is long and rich with all the flavours introducing themselves at different stages of the tasting experience. A fairly smooth dram and whatever sharpness there is to be found is easily hidden by the variation in flavour.
Overall a lovely complex dram that ticks all the boxes for richness, fruitiness and spiciness. A lasting flavour that doesn’t tire on the tongue. A hugely enjoyable whisky that is unique and complex; I would highly recommend a try of this one.