Having now shared a few words on the first edition of Tempest, let’s contrast a little against a more recent version. This is Batch 3. Currently, a rebranded Batch 4 is sitting on the shelves here in Alberta. I’ve yet to try that most recent incarnation, but will hopefully get to it soon.
Bowmore has been doing a lot of things right in recent years. Some neat one-offs and some new editions to the range have been welcome additions. While I can’t necessarily get behind some of the younger NAS releases, such as Surf and Legend, I can say that the distillery is winning me back one bottle at a time. For a while there I was a little disillusioned.
Seeing as I spilled most of the beans in the previous review (linked above), I imagine I can be a little less wordy here, and simply dive in. Tempest Batch 3 is still a fierce dram, of course. Big and flavourful, rich and full of character. While it may not tick all the boxes the first batch did, I do still like it enough to buy and drink. This time ’round though, I believe you need to be a little more of a died-in-the-wool peathead to immediately cotton to this one. Batch 1 had a rounded sweetness that likely would have worked to broaden the appeal. Here you have a slightly sharper and more prickly Islay malt at a hefty abv. Highly possible that this one is not for the faint of heart. The peat and smoke are loud and obnoxious. That’s right up my alley, personally, but may make for a narrower target market.
While Batch 1 was an ‘old soul’ of a 10 year old, this a youthful 10. So be it. If you chance upon the different batches on the shelves anywhere though…I would highly recommend grabbing the first edition over the later ones. Just my two cents.
Nose: A lot of chocolate. Some hay and herbal notes. Dusty barn. Smoke. Lemon. Fish and brine. Some caramel pudding. Salt and pepper. Sea water. Maybe just a touch floral.
Palate: Big, sharp attack. Fishy notes and burning barley. Chocolate and licorice. Very ‘naked’. Ashy. Does somewhat bitter out a bit unfortunately. Lacks the balanced creaminess that made the first such a charmer.
Thoughts: A fairly one-dimensional malt that doesn’t hold a candle to the first batch. Having said that…it’s still a very fine dram. Expect something along the lines of Caol Ila or very young Port Ellen in terms of mouth attack.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt