I’ll come clean right at the start. I love this whisky. It is, for me and my taste, one of the best that I’ve come across. Equal parts complex, soft and easy to drink yet with a depth and a character that develops through the mouth and the nose and on long after the finish should rightfully have come.
Presented in a rich red box this is the third in a series of specials made by Bowmore. I first tried it on the trip to Islay in September 2016 and it immediately leapt out as something different form the rest. First of it is a dark, dark red whisky, running through into a very deep golden brown. The colour of a rich maple syrup or an aged stained glass window. It sings to you from the bottle and draws you in when put amongst lighter, more honey coloured fellows.
The nose is traditional, but already you begin to see the hints of things to come. Soft spices, cloves, orange and nutmeg. A faint smell of Christmas and orange. There is a thin layer of smoke present but not nearly so much as you get in other Bowmores and certainly not as much as is present in the peatier southern Islay’s.
In the mouth it is warming and fills every cranny with a deep but gentle warmth. It is subtle and reminds me of of drinking a rich creamy hot chocolate, thick and satisfying as the flavours begin to tumble around. There is orange and spiced fruit, caramel and a thick truffle flavour. This is not a whisky to drink in great gulps, it is too rich and must be savoured and used sparingly or the flavours will overpowered. The maturation in Oloroso and PX casks is intriguing and works magically in this case.
The finish is long and a second wind develops after the first dram has slid down your gullet. The Devil’s Cask warms you again from the inside and you feel satisfied that you have taken a truly excellent dram. It is not cheap and a bottle will set you back £195. Is that a tad much? Probably yes, but for a great whisky to drink on special occasions I cannot think of better and am only upset that i have finished my own bottle.