I went back to the Bowmore Darkest Islay today for the first time in a long time. It is still as I described it, rich and flavorful in the Scotch way.
I decided to compare it against a bourbon to which I have only been slightly complementery in the past, Woodford Reserve. (See 'An interesting experience' posting in the Bourbon Straight Forum, page 7, for an good discussion on comparing Bourbon and Scotch)
The Woodford has a much stonger oak presence, but vis-a-vis the Bowmore, it is quite impressive.
Bowmore definitely has that seaside aroma and taste which the Islay Scotchs are famous (or notorious) for. It really is rich, viscous, complex, pleasing, and tasty (and relatively cheap).
It may be that my love affair with boubon has influenced me too deeply, but the WR more than holds its own against the Bowmore. This comes as a surprise to me, since the Bowmore is one of my favorite Scotchs, and WR has, until now, not been a contender in the bourbon world.
I have always had doubts about my assessment of WR, primarily because I know people with excellent palates who love it. Today it seems to have something I love in a bourbon........'balance' twixt the flavors!
Compared to the Bowmore, Woodford Reserve wins this round ........somehow that makes me happy! But it doesn't mean that I will give up Scotch, it is just too good to put aside!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas