Review: Bowmore Small Batch
This latest expression from Islay’s Bowmore is simply called Small Batch, a No Age Statement expression matured in first fill and second fill bourbon casks. No finishing barrel. It now joins the Bowmore family as a full-time member of the lineup.
It’s at first a classically styled, if not entirely remarkable, Islay bottling, offering smoky peat on the nose, plus a sweeter-than-usual edge that takes it to the realm of barbecued meats. That sweetness carries over to the body, where a sugary rush of vanilla pudding hits the palate first. I get touches of sweetened coconut and some orange juice as the finish builds, at which point a quite modest smoky peat character starts to take hold again. That smoke-meets-salt air character is just barely evident as the finish fades, the Islay core bookending the experience as gently as possible.
Bowmore Small Batch is a nice beginner’s introduction to Islay and a capable budget dram, but it’s nothing that fans of the island’s particular style are likely to feel the need to seek out.
B+ / $40 / bowmore.com [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]
It’s about time Bowmore makes some news, even for a $40 NAS. For years, a whole lot of nothing. Suntory needs to step up their Islay game in a big way. Everyone else (islay) is.