Bowmore is perhaps the most aristocratic malt on Islay, that wee Scottish island in the Atlantic famous for its peat (Lagavulin, Laphroaig, and Ardbeg are fellow residents).  Tempest, Bowmore’s newest expression, refers to the mighty gales that often pound the distillery; we prefer to imagine a firestorm, which may be uncorked at your leisure to battle Jack Frost. Aged for ten years in bourbon casks residing in vaults below sea level, Tempest is a young whiskey, bristling with dry peat. Yet it’s still, and here’s the aristocratic part, polished—in this case, with lemon peel, sea grass, and salt. The bourbon casks (unlike more overpowering sherry casks) give the distinct peatiness nowhere to hide, resulting in a relatively undressed presentation of Bowmore’s house style, if you will. This is Tempest’s second annual release (see Batch No. 2), but the first to come stateside. For $100, it’s a gift to impress any peat lover. Including you.

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