Bowmore is, for me, a very problematic distillery. On the one hand, I don’t really like the whisky it produces. There’s a signature funk in the Bowmore whisky that I simply don’t like. Also, the whisky tends toward the development of tropical fruit, which is also not my favorite in whisky. This is, of course, exactly the reason that so many other people love it.
On the other hand, were it not for Bowmore’s parent company, Morrison Bowmore, my beloved Glen Garioch wouldn’t have still been open. Add that to the fact that the distillery does some of its own floor maltings, and you get a distillery to which I harbor some ambivalence.
The above, however, is not to say that I have not tasted some Bowmore expressions that I enjoyed, including the second Devil’s Cask. The first two editions were age stated at 10 years old. The third edition is not age stated, but has been released suspiciously close to the release of the 9 year old. That expression is sherry cask matured in Oloroso casks, together with some bourbon cask matured whisky. However, at 40%, it’s hardly a contender as a replacement for the Devil Casks.
While not being personally a great fan, one cannot ignore that Bowmore is one of the most excellent performers in the auctions. With the special editions doing particularly well.
So I liked the second Devil, how’s the Devil I don’t know (yet)?
Bowmore Devil’s Cask III – Double The Devil, First Fill Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks (56.7% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Mahogany, thin legs peeling off a pretty sturdy necklace.
Nose: Wet peat reek, very ripe guava, dirty citrus, and spice. There’s dryness on the nose, with the Oloroso very prominent. There’s dried orange peel. Some time in the glass allows the malty notes to come through, with a hint of chocolate.
Palate: Very Bowmorey, with peat and dried fruit, a fruity sweetness, pepper and cardamom, and a slight y fizzy blood orange. Dry spice and a citrusy bitterness lurk right under it.
Linger: Pepper, peat and a burnt bitter linger. The spice lingers around the gullet, and a fizzy fruitiness in the mouth, with a slight dry bitterness.
While far more “Bowmorey” than the second devil. This is a complex dram. Not to my liking, but if you like Bowmore you’ll probably like this, if you can get it for a normal price.