When the folk of Bowmore formed an angry mob to chase the devil out of the church (which is of course round, offering him nowhere to hide), down the road and through the distillery, it was assumed that he must have made his escape in a cask heading to the mainland aboard the Maid of Islay. – Thus the story of the Devil’s Cask of Bowmore was born.
Released in 2013 as a small batch release by Bowmore, this 10-year old first fill sherry cask originally costs about 100USD – take a look at the auction pages today and don’t be shocked to find this 10 year old Islay whisky easily commanding a price of 400USD – pure marketing genius on Bowmore’s end, or a deal with the devil perhaps?
Price, marketing spin or an insidious deal with otherworldly beings aside, this is an exceptional whisky, I was blown away when I had my first taste. A dark mahogany with a wine red tinge, it is quite distinctive in colour once poured onto a glass, we’re off to a good start.
Bowmore 10 Devil’s Casks Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky – 56.9%
Nose: A really thick sherry influence, this is at cask strength so beware, bitter chocolate, chili flakes, cigar wrappings and ripe dark fruits (plums, dates etc). Deep and extremely rich, could greatly benefit with added water. 85/100
Palate: Oily, rubbery feel kind of eating a spoonful of melted dark chocolate, spicy with white pepper and chili flakes, nutty, red wine, quite drying tannins in the mouth. Great complexity and might greatly benefit from adding water to open up the palate but I love it as is. 90/100
Finish: A long, lingering smoky finish with a little bit of the above thrown in, excellent as the ‘one for the road’ for that long drive home from your favourite bar or a nightcap (but don’t brush your teeth afterwards). 90/100
Afterthought: How on earth did they make such a complex, powerful young whisky? If I’m to describe this dram as a person, It’ll be the dapper Devil sitting in a rustic oak paneled cigar bar, eating a hearty serving of Black Forest cake and sipping a goblet of mulled wine.
You can still find this expression at some bars in Jakarta, hunt them and try them before they’re gone forever.
I score it: 88/100
Cheers from the Whiskyhobo