Color: Light amber, orange blossom honey.
Nose: Thick and dark honey, like buckwheat or chestnut honey. A little sulphur but quite tolerable... Struck matches, cooked prunes, poached plums and beef stew. You can almost visualize the big sherry butt the whisky was aging in: old, blue-gray and moldy. Damp black soil... It reminds me very much the whiskies bottled by Michel Couvreur. Candle wax, orange zest marmalade and campfire in the woods fueled with pine needles, charcoal, tree bark and dry leaves. A very layered and busy nose for a twelve years old whisky. Water adds a few more notes... A little coastal now. Sea salt, wet sand and barbecue smoke. More honey and more mold.
Palate: Bold, thick and powerful entrance... Again beef stew, barbecue sauce and rubber band balls. Molasses and aged rum... Still a little sulphury but water helps to get rid of most of the off notes. Metal lunch boxes, paprika and chipotle. Burnt sugar, burnt citrus peel and fire place ash. Tarte tatin, rum baba and cloves. Walnut liquor, wet tobacco and old leather upholstery.
Finish: Quite long with candies nuts, honey syrup and molasses.
Overall: If this was a blind tasting there was no way I could guess this bottle being a twelve year old whisky. It noses and tastes much older... It is viscous, bold and thick, a real treat for a sherry cask lover... . One of the least coastal Bowmore bottlings I tasted. I would definitely consider to purchase a bottle especially at this price but it is long gone. Thanks again to Florin for the sample.