Saturday, November 26, 2011

Whisky review: Battlehill Bowmore 8 Year

I picked this bottle up at the local Total Wine and More after hearing phenomenal things about it through the grapevine. It's an independent bottling done for Total Wine by a company under the name of "Battlehill," which appears to actually be Duncan Taylor. I'm normally not a big fan of Bowmore's whiskies, but at $38 a bottle, the recommendations for this one were too strong to let it pass me by.

Bowmore is a distillery on Islay, the Scottish island known for producing smoky, peaty whiskies. Bowmore is also one of the most heavily-collected brands of whisky in the world, as they have produced some very exclusive bottlings and have a strong following. Like I said, though, their product has never really hit me as being exceptional.

Battlehill Bowmore 8 Year, 43% ABV
Single malt Scotch whisky (Islay)

Nose: Grassy, medicinal, and a little sweet. Reminds me of the Laphroaig 15 Year.

Palate: Follows the nose with grass, then turns to heavier coal and peat. A hint of that Bowmore "Fisherman's Friend" character that Jim Murray often mentions, but not nearly as much as in some of the distillery bottlings I've had.

Finish: Full-bodied peat and smoke with some lingering sweetness. A good warming effect.

Rating (of 100): 90. This comes through with a nice amount of peat and doesn't overdo it on the sweetness - it's like a mix between the Laphroaig 15 nose and the Laphroaig 10 palate. (Sorry, I'm a Laphroaig fan...) For the price, it's an outstanding bottling, and a damn good one regardless of price. Maybe I need to pay more attention to this distillery, or at least to this bottler.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kevin, I recently discovered your blog and have been enjoying it very much! Just curious: any idea how this Bowmore expression compares to Bowmore Legend? Something about Bowmore makes me want to keep giving it a chance, but Bowmore Legend was really disappointing. It was way too watery, and kindof chalky. I have a Total Wine not far from me with this Battlehill expression available.