Oops. Just discovered that I’d somehow missed publishing this one. Thankfully I had saved a hefty sample from one of the bottles that got drained ’round here. Yes, bottles. This is a great malt for sharing and showing off the incredible strides Bowmore has made in recent years.
Longtime readers will know that in earlier years I had a bit of a ‘hit and miss’ (read: mostly miss) relationship with Bowmore. Too many floral notes. Happy to report, as I have before, that Bowmore seems to have sorted all that out and moved more into fruits than flowers. Their recent sherried expressions are absolutely top notch.
I should note before diving into tasting notes that Laimrig seems to be a little drier and richer in spice and chocolate now than earlier batches, which were all jams and macerated fruits. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a sweetie of a malt, but if you had a chance to try the earliest edition or two…wow. I wouldn’t call this slippage; just a slightly different cask composition. And the age statement remains, which we love.
I’ll be buying this indefinitely. Great malt from Islay’s oldest distillery.
Nose: Chocolate and deep dark caramel. Jammy, rich fruit notes. Smoke. Deep on the spice, nicely integrated though. Smoky grape juice. There’s something a little softer and creamier here than expected too. Some sort of candy. Chocolate cake.
Palate: Good. Really good. Not as great as earlier editions, but unquestionably top 5 for me in terms of 15 year olds. Arrives rather dry, but turns mouthwatering. Lots of smoke. Fisherman’s Friend cough drops. Rubber and earthy notes. Finishes on smoked apple skins.
Thoughts: Brilliant smoky and sweet collision. Bottled at a great age. One of my favorite affordable standard releases going.
– Images & Words: Curt