Mrs. B tastes… Bowmore Small Batch Reserve

I’ve had whisky paired with chocolate, I’ve had whisky with popcorn, and I’ve had whisky with a pecan yum yum; I’ve even had it with fish & chips, as you may have read in my first post on Talisker, but, as of yesterday, I had yet to have had any Scotch with ice-cream.

Given the sudden heatwave that we find ourselves in, the suggestion from DBS that I sip some of the new Bowmore Small Batch Reserve along with some vanilla ice-cream and macaroons sent especially for the purpose (the whisky and the macaroons, that is, not the ice-cream, for obvious reasons) was met most positively by myself.

There is, however, a reason for my trying this beyond the start of the British summer. This month, Bowmore Distillery have released their new Bowmore Small Batch Reserve. This is a lighter expresion of their already characteristically smooth, but flavourful spirit, and one that was inspired by the recent increase in the number of special, small batch whiskies available.

As such, it is made in small quantities and matured in a selection of first- and second-batch Bourbon casks that have been chosen by hand. Already fond of Bowmore’s other bottlings, I was excited to try this new creation.

Nose: An interesting mix of light, vanilla sugar and peat to start. Hints of dry porridge oats followed and, after a while, it softened and sweetened considerably, like caramelised pecans with a smoky edge. DBS also caught light hints of malt, like that of beer. Ten minutes or so later, the nose had sweetened even more, becoming almost syrupy and reminding me a little of flapjack.

Taste: My first sip of this was soft and yet deliciously smoky at the same time; I was intrigued by this soft, and yet by no means weak, smokiness. After a couple more sips, more fresh, fruity notes started to come through, all slightly tart. These moved onto more savoury notes: lovely, vibrant, fresh wood and almond, fading into a smoky peat. The finish is – again – lovely and refreshing, with notes of sweet citrus.

With vanilla ice-cream and macaroons:
The smooth, rich vanilla of the ice-cream brings out the vanilla in the whisky and the intense creaminess brings out the fresh, citrus notes. The macaroons had a melt-in-the-mouth quality, which went well with the smoothness of the whisky, and the almond and rice paper notes complement the savoury aspects of the spirit.
I find myself rather fond of this whisky already. It has an elegance and a mystery to it, with its unusual and yet perfectly balanced combination of flavours, and that wonderfully soft, but strong peatiness in partcular.

What’s more, it was delicious with vanilla ice-cream, making it a first class way to both cool down and enjoy a glass in the summer sunshine (best, I’d imagine, when it’s, like its home distillery, by the sea!).

– Mrs. B.

Bowmore Small Batch Reserve – RRP £32.99 for 70cl

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