Review: Bowmore Tempest 10 Years Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

10 years; First Fill Bourbon Barrels
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Bowmore (Bowmore, Scotland)

This is a small batch Bowmore release, each with a batch release and at times with differences in production. It is released at cask strength and is non-chill filtered, so it is a bigger whisky - but also younger. As each batch is different, the ABV also varies slightly with the batches. I always find this bottling odd because I don't experience as much smoke in this as typically in Bowmore. But we can get to that:

Review (2016)

  • Batch: V (55.9%)

  • Bottling Code: L142186 11:49 118

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Tree fruits at first - apple, apricot, peaches, nectarines, and vanilla with distinct bourbon overtones. When you hear Tempest, you expect something extremely smoky and dark– not in this case! Quite rounded, in fact, and quite fruity. The raw malt seems to appear with time, and, indeed, it smells a bit youthful underneath. Spicy and hot on the palate at cask strength, carrying some wood spice and remaining true to youth and fruit. Lightly cleansing on the finish - . Smoke, perhaps, shows its face the most on the finish alongside a touch of white pepper. A bit more alive with a touch of water – some tea notes emerge and the spice on the finish come out more too. The ashy finish I like.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average. Not a bad price for this, but there are better value buys out there.