Have you ever dreamed of living on an island? That thought conjures up romantic visions, warm beaches, glowing sunsets, and tequila sunrises. Well, it ain’t that way on the western shores of Scotland where the Island of Islay is located, although they do have their romantic moments. The winds tend to blow in from the West across Scotland from the Atlantic Ocean and that just happens to be where they first encounter the Island of Islay. If you’re more of the rugged type and love that wind in your face feeling, this just might be the place for you. As an old Scottish saying goes; “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes”. And if you enjoyed that little ditty here’s a Scottish poem you might enjoy:

It rained and rained and rained and rained,
The average was well maintained;
And when our fields were simply bogs,
It started raining cats and dogs.
After a drought of half an hour,
There came a most refreshing shower;
And then the queerest thing of all,
A gentle rain began to fall.

Next day ’twas pretty fairly dry, 
Save for a deluge from the sky.
This wetted people to the skin,
But after that the rain set in.
We wondered what’s the next we’d get,
As sure as fate we got more wet.
But soon we’ll have a change again,
And we shall have….. A drop of rain


All that weather and those sea waves might produce some interesting Scotch Let’s see: first up is the Bowmore Islay Single Malt Small Batch Scotch Whisky. It is a very pale golden honey in color. A light touch of smoky, salty peat starts off a delicate nose, followed by a hint of oak and vanilla. On the palate, the saltiness comes forward immediately, followed by smoky peat then that oak and vanilla. All of this combines into a spicy, citrusy, bourbon like flavor that dominates the mouth. The finish is medium in length leaving a vanilla salty sweet taste in the mouth. This is an interesting and layered scotch, although not overly complex. The saltiness is well balanced with the sweetness and smoke. It’s certainly a light flavored sipper that might just go really well at that favorite bar on the beach but that beach really should be located somewhere way down south where it’s nice and warm.


Next up is the Bowmore Islay Single Malt 15 year old Scotch Whiskey. The color of this scotch is almost a maple syrup brown as compared to the previous scotch. The smoky peat comes right up first in the nose, followed by a light sprinkling of sea salt, followed by oaky bourbon. This nose is rich and deep. The palate is thick and creamy and deep with the flavor of the smoky peat, vanilla, bourbon, oak, salt and chocolate- yes, chocolate. And let me tell you salt and chocolate are one of my absolute favorite combinations, and this scotch handles that combination beautifully. The finish is long allowing all those flavors to melt together and please the palate for a decent amount of time or until the next sip which just might come before the first one disappears completely. This is a complex scotch with a decent degree of depth and flavor and just might be the scotch to drink at the bar on the storm tossed Scottish shore. Either way, you won’t go wrong with these two.

The Bowmore Single malt small batch is around $40.00 per 750ml bottle.

The Bowmore small batch 15 year old sells for around $45.00 to $64.00 per 750ml bottle, so shop around to get the best price.


By George Brozowski