Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Of Moors and Mountains - The Bowmore Tempest

Me with long hair and a map
I'm squinting at a map with the wind launching itself like an RPG at my jacket and the rain machine-gunning my head, my kit and a bloke with borderline hypothermia sitting on a rock a few feet away. My mate comes running out of the mountain mist with a status report of the terrain ahead. We were having to run ahead of the dense fog to try and get our bearings and to get off this mountain and get the casualty to safety. For some, this may not seem like a whole barrel of laughs, but for me handling the outdoors is as fun as whisky. Stumbling across ridges, potholing, kayaking and climbing are my idea of a good time. Furthermore they largely result in drinking in great pubs serving fantastic beer and an array of whiskies. This is partly the reason why I associate the smell of whiskies with an environment before I have to scribble out my tasting notes and write something involving fruit and toffee rather than "the nose of Crib Goch in the rain", otherwise no one would be able to interpret them. I think the main reason I associate whisky with the outdoors is that my first tour of some of Scotland's distilleries was with a heavy backpack and public transport. This trip also taught me it is sadistic to attempt to reach the majority of distilleries by public transport. Indeed I would rather attempt to outrun a tiger with an empty stomach and a healthy dose of rabies than try and get to certain distilleries by bus again. Despite this and the midgies, one of my best memories was lugging six and a half stone of kit, nine miles in two hours to get back from Talisker to where there was a pub and a small square of
The Leeds Uni Caving Soc. int' pub
moderately un-boggy ground to pitch our tent for the night. My friend and I stumbled into the pub throwing our bags down and rather stupidly asking, "Do you serve Talisker?" Before ordering a dram each of the Talisker 18 year old to recover with. No whisky has ever tasted as good, nor has any combination of curry super noodles and pork scratchings (we were running rather low on supplies). So this is the reason, along with my obsession with the outdoors, why I associate whisky with mountains and fresh air, and being trapped in London any reminder of moors and mountains is gladly welcomed.

Bowmore Tempest
56% - 10 Years Old - Second Release
Nose: Chlorine and sea breeze jump to the fore followed by sea spray against the cliff face. A powerful nose.
Palate: Intense smoke, peat bog and maritime flavours.
Finish: Campfire smoke is the word here with an unusual hint of kiwi.
Overall: Stormy is the word, a whisky that would be best appreciated in a tent being hit by gale force winds as you crouch inside planning the next day's adventure. Top Bowmore!

1 comment:

  1. As the friend referred to in the tale of Talisker I feel compelled to comment on this post in particular :)

    Indeed an excellent demonstration of the effect that whiskey can have. I certainly found that once you really experience Scottish whiskey properly it become very hard to not sit back and think of the wondrous views and experiences that Scotland has to offer whilst supping a dram of excellent west coast malt.

    May our return to experience more distilleries occur very soon.