SMWS 3.309 Peat smoke, pipe ash and pata negra

Posted 05 April 2018 / In Bowmore
The Dramble's tasting notes for SMWS 3.309 Peat smoke, pipe ash and pata negra

Bottle Name:  3.309 Peat smoke, pipe ash and pata negra

ABV: 56.2%
Distillery: Bowmore
Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Region: Islay

Teenage Bowmore distilled back in 2004 and matured in a 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrel. Peated profile.

Nose: Commencing with a full Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings – leg of lamb, onion gravy and mint sauce – this effortlessly slides toward mineral smoke – a beach fire next to a briny rock pool. The peating here seems quite vegetal – smouldering wet green leaves and freshly torn twigs - it sits alongside rockiness in the form of granite screes and chipped slate. The addition of water adds to the meatiness with reduced stock and BBQ’d cuts. It also brings some vanilla and saltiness to the party.

Taste: Slightly less coastal, more woodland now – embers of burning branches and logs alongside vegetal ash and dying campside cinder. This is tempered by sweetness of toffee and sharp and tart citrus flavours. Salinity is present again, but joined with other spices – very pronounced pepper and aniseed. Water adds a host of complexity into this already multifaceted whisky – tar, menthol, camphor and a slight dirty oiliness.

Finish: Long and quite drying with chalky and ashy smoke and an acidic bite of citrus.

There’s a lot of intense peat and smoke in this Bowmore – much more than you’d find in many distillery OBs – and more than in recent SMWS bottlings also. The focus here is on complex peaty and meaty aromas and flavours and they work together rather nicely. Equally good with or without water, this one is well worth a look. Recommended.

Score: 87/100

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