Bowmore Mariner was another whisky that was aimed at the travel retail market during the 2000s and (I think) was discontinued around 2013.
This whisky was aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, then bottled in 2009 at 43% with coloring and chill filtration.
I purchased this miniature as part of a set at the Bowmore distillery in 2013.
Bowmore 15 Year Mariner (New Label)
Nose: classic Bowmore notes - balanced fresh malt and light herbal peat, red wine and berries in the background, seashore, a bit savory with a touch of something floral. After adding a few drops of water the wine notes mostly fade, leaving a soft bed of malt with more peat and a touch of ex-bourbon oak and caramel.
Taste: sweet wine opening, clear red wine and raspberry right behind, fading out through mild oak and a little bit of herbal peat, all on top of a base of clean malt with light violet/lavender top notes. After dilution it becomes more integrated, with less peat and a slight waxing and waning of the wine notes across the palate.
Finish: red wine residue, raspberry, a bit sour, a little oak, fresh malt, a touch of salinity
While the construction of this whisky and the Enigma are nominally very similar, the results are very different. The wine notes are far more present right off the bat, but they end up reading more like a red wine than a fortified wine finish to me. If it had hit like I expect a sherry finish to, sort of a more subtle Darkest, I could see myself drinking a lot more of this. It's nuanced but not flat, with excellent balance. I wouldn't pay over the odds for this, but if you like peat and wine finishes, this would be a good one to grab if you happen to stumble upon a bottle (WhiskyBase currently has a few at not wildly inflated prices if you're so inclined).
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