An elegant and floral 33-year-old Islay single malt from indie bottler Elixir Distillers, Islay Violets has been finished in ex-Cognac casks, accentuating its floral character. Aromas Parma violets, jasmine, lemon peel, geranium and smoky, burning sage fill the nose. The palate offers notes of violet petals, rosemary, soft oak spice, juniper, pine and rosewater, with hints of pink grapefruit and Champagne cocktails that linger in the finish.
Waxy with the expected violet notes, both floral petals and green leaves. Sweet barley sugar and parma violet notes develop, with chamois leather, candied lemon and lavender syrup to follow. Zestiness builds, with singed orange peel joining the lemon, along with burning rosemary twigs.
The classic floral notes lead on the palate, with lavender and sweet violet joined by Love Heart candy, sultanas and a hint of mint. Waxy petal notes develop, along with vanilla toffee, soft spice and a touch of damp earth hiding at the back.
A final burst of violet fades to leave candied lemon, green grass and toffee.
A famously divisive style of Bowmore, and an example that might turn more people to the distillery's floral side. If you're on the fence, this is the dram to turn you, with excellent floral and citrus balance, and a gentle undertone of smokiness. It tastes exactly how you'd expect from reading the label...
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