By Richard Thomas
I adored the last Wemyss single cask, cask strength I got my lips around, the Kirsch Gateau from Bunnahabhain. As a result, when their newest batch of single cask releases included another Islay cask strength, I zeroed in on it instantly.
This one is a 1995-distilled Bowmore, bottled in 2014. That makes it a 19 year old, and left at 57.2 % abv. That hogshead yielded 226 bottles at that level.
In the glass, this whisky has that gold-meets-copper, polished bronze look about it, likely coming as much from its strength as its age. It takes both to grow darker than the apple juice or white wine coloring so typical of many Scotch whiskies, and given how dark, big and bold Kirsch Gateau was, I took it as a good sign.
The nose was a delightful blend of three aspects, arranged in a very clear hierarchy. At the top was a mix of cinnamon and ginger spices, supported by a layer of creosote, and finally with a sweet note complimenting the spices. The flavor follows in exactly that kind of vein, with a spicy and woody character dominating, but well-served by thick tendrils of oily smoke, and rounded out by a modest, but prevalent sweetness. The finish left a mild, lingering spicy afterglow.
This is some very fine whisky. It didn’t knock my socks off the way Kirsch Gateau did, but it’s lovely stuff nonetheless.
I set about reviewing this within just a few days of receiving the samples, and already it is sold out. When it was in regular stock, the whisky went for £120.
Update: Although the sources I looked a were sold out, Wemyss Malts informed me one more consignment was headed to the Austrian online retailer potstill.org.