Bowmore 15yo Laimrig Batch3

Islay done right

Peat and sherry, the salt and tabasco of whisky. As powerful flavour agents they often determine the direction of our single malts. Ranging from enhancer to the dominant force of our single malts, we all certainly love one of their phenotypes.But designing a dram that encompasses both to the fullest of their merit can be quite tricky. You'll need to create a perfectly balanced combination of rich, bold, and phenolic tastes.

The Lagavulin Distillers‘ edition and Ardbeg Uigeadail know well how to fine-tune the two to a fool proof equilibrium, but there’s another Islay contender from the shores of Loch Indaal. And I ain’t talking about Bruichladdich…

Batch 3, matured for 14 years in an ex-bourbon cask, finished in a Spanish Oak Sherry butt, bottled in 2012 at 53.7% cask strength.

Nose: a saline kick-off: salt crusts and seaweed. Notes of polished leather, earthy peat, soft pear juice, gunpowder and a touch of Fisherman’s Friend. In time the dram turns more subtle and fruity, displaying aromas of sherry and fresh sultanas.

Mouth: a rich body with a warm and fairly intense peppery burst on the palate. Some tar, peat, a drop of sherry, dried plums and salty liquorice, with an overall clear influence of the wood.

Finish: long, ending on a bold note of tobacco smoke, black pepper, cinnamon.


The Verdict: underneath all that peat smoke lies a mature whisky that wears its sherry finish like an armour. What a dram and what a blast. Only €77 at the local shop, so it comes reasonably priced. Makes you wonder why it gets so little acclaim. I can’t stress this enough: if you don’t know which OB Bowmore to buy, Laimrig is the one.
Score: 88

Nose: 22

Taste: 23
Finish: 21 Balance: 22
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house