Bowmore Tempest V is a cask-strength testament that there are still craftsmen alive and well in the big Whiskey houses along the moors.
The Bowmore Distillery is one of the oldest in all of Scotland and lies on the Isle of Islay, on the banks of the Western coastline. The sea brings it its famous character, which in combination with peat gives birth to one of the most recognized flavours in the Whisky World.
The techniques that Bowmore employs have remained the same for centuries. The water they use is from the adjacent Laggan river, the kiln is heated with Islay peat and they still use the traditional wooden malt shovel to turn the barley
Islay is special. For centuries, all they had was the local barley, clear spring water, cut and dried peat to heat their homes, and the sea … always there was the sea. If you take all that and wring it into a barrel, you get Bowmore … a Whisky spirit that clings to the memory of the barley, the peat, and the sea.
The Bowmore Tempest editions are limited release, small-batch issues. They get a good bit of extra care and consideration, not the least of which is that they get the best wood to age in—first fill ex-Bourbon. So All of the Tempest editions get a greater share of the sweetness and vanilla esters that come with those barrels. Bowmore issues one Tempest each year, and this one is batch number 5. And since this is small-batch stuff, there are differences you can taste.
The Tempest editions are served up at cask strength, and each ABV is a little different (a fun little quirk). Tempest 5 is 55.9%, so hang on to your britches. Better yet, add a healthy splash of water. Another difference this year is that issue 5 is richer than last year’s. Why? Who knows, and God bless ‘em that is just the way it should be with a small-batch dram! Bowmore Tempest V is definitely an Islay single-malt, so the peat is there, but in a kinder-gentler way, so you will find it approachable and savory on the tongue. Enjoy it you salty dog!