Color: copper and gold deep in the middle with lighter hues of sun-kissed straw and hay along the side.
Nose: salty smoke, seaweed, and a hint of iodine. Wet sod. Honey baked grains. Band-Aids. Pervasive smoke.
Palate: medium light weight, full in the middle with a fast finish. Salty smoke holds everything together. Sweet and dry golden hay. Leather in the back. Iodine mixed in salt and smoke in the breath, lingering long and growing Band-Aid notes. Simple but good.
Finish: salty smoke with a hard bite of iodine and Band-Aids underneath. Fast.
I had less than stellar expectations for the single-malts from Bowmore of Islay (pronounced “eye-la”) on the eastern shore of Loch Indaal, expectations which I should know by now are just plain silly. The Islay Legend is Bowmore’s core single-malt of no age denomination which, for me, is a first. Age denomination aside, she had plenty of flavor and classic Islay character to satiate. Everyone’s palate is different so flavors will weigh differently on each tasters palate, such as mine, where lemon zest was non-existent. The perennial sea salt, iodine, smoke, and leather were clean-cut and at full attention.
I loved it.
And I shouldn’t be surprised. Bowmore has been around since 1779. To add a touch of perspective, Bowmore has been around as long as the now United States of America, minus three years of course. Now that is touchable tasteable history – a dram timeless. With a Standard range that includes a 12, 15, 18, and 25 year, Bowmore also boasts a Travel Retail line of 5 different malts and a USofA specific range that boasts a whopping 10 different malts. The Islay Legend which I savored above shares her home with both Scotland and America, a mutual relationship of dram drinking burgundianism I would gladly savor daily were I given the opportunity.
(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)