If I’m being completely honest and with the exception of their trio of Tempest bottlings, which were simply superb, I’ve struggled to jump for joy or exude enthusiasm for the majority of the other releases from the Bowmore Distillery over the last couple of years.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve long been a fan of Bowmore and their impressive dramming back catalogue, but of late it has to be said that I’ve been rather unimpressed and have found their offerings to be somewhat overrated and lacking in consistency and character.
But all is not lost my friends, after much hoping and praying for a return to dramality, it looks as if my prayers to the whisky gods and angels have finally been answered and at this very minute ticks are starting to fill all the right boxes on my figurative Bowmore dramming checklist, huzzah!
What's the reason for this change in opinion you may ask? Well following in the not too distant shadows of their most recent Tempest release batch no:3 from last year, now sees the release of not one, not two but three new travel retail exclusives, including the very fine Bowmore Spring Tide. A dram that takes its name from the high tide of spring, when the earth, sun and moon are all aligned.
The nose kicks off with very subtle strutting whiffs of a dried driftwood beach bonfire, smoked walnuts and something spirity yet satisfyingly sassy.
Chocolate covered raisins and an espresso coffee topped with an alluringly rich thick crema make for the next set of sensations, along with a smell you get from flicking through the almost tea stained tinged coloured pages of an old dust ridden paperback book.
A warm wedge of homemade treacle tart topped with a good zest of orange and a couple of slices of slightly overdone granary toast then provide a reassuring uplifting backbone. But it’s not long before there’s a more balanced, grounded and infused arrival of peppery oak, cloves, anise and something that can only be described as a honied floral wisp.
The palate kicks off with an initial protruding and penetrating puff of smoke, followed by a trickling cavalcade of confected delights in the form of some chocolate salted caramels, a bag of Cadbury’s chocolate eclairs and half the segments from a Terry’s chocolate orange.
Burnt granary toast smeared with lime marmalade and an accompanying mug of Blue Mountain coffee make for the next clutch of palatable pleasures, along with a glug of orange blossom honey and a punnet of Daple Dandy plums.
A sprinkling of ground cloves, a pinch of pepper and a rather brazen bout of wood spice then provide a rather impressive contribution to the overall balance, as does the arrival of a wee nip of dry sherry and something distinctly and dare I say satisfyingly soapy.
There’s a real added bonus to this particular drop of drammage, if your patient enough to let it breath in the glass for ten minutes or so. Infact if you’re not in a hurry and why on earth should you be, you’ll eventually get to experience and enjoy its menthol edged wares, which extend and complement its already long, lingering and suggestively feisty finish even further.