Bowmore Devil’s Cask III – Double The Devil

Scotch Whisky Review #330: Bowmore Devil’s Cask III – Double The Devil

Distillery: Bowmore.

Region: Islay.

Age: NAS.

ABV: 56.7%.

Cask Type: Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks.

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/herr_maltenberg

Color: 1.9, Brown Sherry.

Nose: It’s quite boozey, taking in a big whiff really cleared out the sinuses. It’s quite inviting when you can get past the alcohol. There’s loads of dark sherry and molasses. A dark berry compote with a hint of peat linger in the background as well.

Palate: Is this syrup or is this whisky? This might be some of the thickest feeling whisky I’ve had. At full strength, it’s fairly hard to drink given that it just tastes of an alcoholic sugary syrup. With water and tons of air time, it does loosen up a bit. Molasses/shoofly pie is the main note. Some more water turns it more into just a brown sugar mixture.

Finish: Fairly long in length. Sherry and peat are the name of the game here. There is also a bit of meatiness as well, but just a touch.

Conclusion: I’ve often read and heard about how good Bowmore is at neutering their own spirit for their own distillery releases. I’ve also become convinced that their spirit shines best in sherry so I figured a high proof, sherried OB might somehow do it right. Unfortunately, their ability to sabotage themselves seems to outdo their ability to make good sherried whisky. The nose here is quite promising, though quite boozey. The dark sherry, molasses, and berry compote are a delicious mixture and really make you want to dive right in. The mouthfeel on this is unbelievably thick and syrupy but that comes at the expense of having virtually zero depth in flavor. The finish is quite nice, but not enough. Ultimately, this is a disappointment and a stark reminder to me as to why I should just stick to independent bottlings of Islay’s oldest distillery.

Final Score: 79.

Scotch Whisky Review #330, Islay Review #52, Whisky Network Review #475

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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