this new Bowmore expression is in the same entry level market as Bowmore Legend (and may replace it), with a RRP of £32.99. Like Legend, it has no age statement, and is a combination of first and second fill bourbon casks. It is a limited volume release, we imagine in the way A’bunah is, although its not clear if they will number the release.
Nose: Very light at first, then sweet and sour. Tropical fruits with a distant sour smoke (this is a good thing, before you start to wonder), interspersed with a hint of lemon tea
Taste: A thin layer of creaminess as the smoke again keeps its distance, allowing the salt and lemon to flourish. The smoke, however, returns late on in peppery form, finishing with a squeeze of lime juice.
Overall, this is a lovely summery Bowmore which is light and coastal and yet peppery and lightly-peated. For those that find the standard expressions too peated, this is definitely one to try. Created from a selection of first-fill and second-fill bourbon casks, the Small Batch Reserve is Bowmore’s lightest and most delicate expression to date and is incredibly competitively priced at £32.99 from May 2012.
This is a supermarket only whisky, which gives you an insight into the arcane and bizarre way of whisky wholesaling. Morrison-Bowmore sell via a company called Cellar Trends, who require a minimum order of 20 cases. We met with Cellar Trends and they were really helpful, but we are a bit small time to deal with them. However, this new expression is not sold by Cellar Trends, it is presumably sold direct to supermarket chains. Apparently, even the largest online retailers such as Whisky Exchange cannot get hold of it directly. This sort of direct sales relationship is not unusual (think Travel Retail or the Whisky Shop OB exclusive bottlings) and I guess there is logic to it: the retailer is likely to promote your brand more and the price the retailer pays is not generally known. However, it confuses the hell out of small players like us! One day we will be big enough to deal direct … maybe