****Highest Recommendation, F. Paul Pacult (Spirit Journal): "The bay/bronze color seduces the eye; ideal, flawless clarity. The opening inhalation offers deep aromas of nutmeg, oloroso sherry, dark toffee and black pepper; further aeration time stirs up thrilling scents of chocolate covered-cherries, tobacco smoke (most like pipe tobacco), sea brine, paraffin, praline, and cedar box; a textbook Islay/sherry perfume. The palate entry is winey, concentrated and stunningly sherry-like; at midpalate the taste profile expands to include dark honey, butterscotch, old oak, vanilla extract, and cocoa bean. Concludes delicately and as sweet as honey. I've called this thoroughbred the 'Baby Black Bowmore' after the legendary one-time offering from Bowmore that was distilled in 1964 and aged in 100% sherry casks for almost thirty years. Though precious few bottles of Black Bowmore exist, people still ask me if I really think that it's the finest single malt I've ever tasted. I always answer, "Black Bowmore is the most memorable single malt I've ever tasted.' If you want a hint at what Black Bowmore was like, pick up a bottle of Darkest and turn off the television, unplug the phone and the computer, turn down the lights, and let it seduce you inch by inch."
Named to the Spirit Journal's '140 Best Five Star Spirits in the World for 2012 (#39)': "Ever since I was introduced to Bowmore on my first trip to Islay in 1989, I have been an ardent admirer of its middle-road path. Never too peaty/smoky but just enough to give you a gentle slap in the face, Bowmore has artfully straddled the Islay fence while never losing its identity or virtue. (Jun 2012)"
94 points The Tasting Panel: "Dark amber color; soft aroma of a hickory fire; smooth and lush with creamy, dried fruit, almonds, raisins, sherry and caramel with the addition of the smoky, briny Islay peat; a great combination of elegance and island funk; long, balanced and surprisingly delicate. (Jan/Feb 2011)"
Wine Spectator: "Fruity. A sweet, extremely rewarding whisky that belies its Islay roots. Just a touch of peat on the nose quickly disappears, to be replaced by fruit, toffee and cocoa, all of which gain traction on the palate, with notes of Sherry and spice. The cocoa and Sherry linger on and on. Sherry cask finish. (2/28/11)"