Friday, 29 August 2014

Bowmore 15 Year Old "Darkest"

Bowmore is one of the more famous of Scotlands’ famous Islay distilleries. According to their website they are the first of the Islay distilleries having been distilling there since 1779, which I suppose kinda makes them the “Godfathers” of Islay whisky. This 15 year old expression was aged in Oloroso sherry casks. This is where it got its colour that I was so excited about. As I’ve said before I have a fondness for the darker liquids and so obviously the name alone was enough to make me swoon. Even though I have seen much darker it is because of the word  "Darkest” in the name of this whisky that I have decided on some dark music.

Black Sabbath is an all-star band which in their hay-day featured four of the most influential musicians in heavy metal history. These include: Ozzy Osbourne who has also been called the "Godfather of Heavy Metal as well as the “Prince of Darkness”, the incredible guitar playing of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler who is in my opinion the most creative, fulfilling heavy metal bass player of all time, as well as one of my heroes and main influences while growing up and Bill Ward who is probably one of the most under-rated drummers in Rock and Roll history. Their self-titled first album is at once one of the darkest and most interesting I have ever heard. Its sounds inspired generations of rockers and continues to do so to this day. The first track by the same name as the album and band is a dark tale of horror that when I first heard it at the age of 13 sent shivers up my spine and for a long time I was scared to hear it alone. The entire album is dark story telling at its best that seems to segue between almost every track with incredible jamming that is quite unusual for the metal genre. This is dark heavy music for a dark heavy whisky.

Nose: Wine and toffee strike first, a second pass reveals the expected notes of smoke. This smoke has a leathery quality to it that reminds me of smoked moose hide. There is a lot going on here yet it is very smooth on the nose and not overcrowded.

Palate:  the smoothness continues on the palate. There is a creaminess to the mouth feel reminiscent of chocolate melting in the mouth. No surprise the smoke is also distinctive with a dried fruit note like raisins or prunes.

Finish: The smoke lingers on for a long time. There are also notes of burnt sugar and pine or cedar wood.

I must admit that I have tried this whisky before. Looking back on my notes for that try I am happy to say that my experience was quite similar. As for the pairing I am impressed. I was afraid that heavier music would make it harder to focus on the scents and flavours before me, no matter how potent the whisky. In this situation the whisky and the music work well together.  

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