SMWS 3.237 – A candle taking its last breath

Another excellent sherried Bowmore from the SMWS.

It’s Bowmore’s Open 2015-05-27 12:00:00Day at the Feis Ile, so we’re reviewing another Bowmore from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

3.237 is an older sibling of the SMWS Feis Ile bottling which we reviewed earlier in the month and was released in January as part of the ‘Treasured Trio’ set.

Distilled on 25th September 1997, this was matured in a Refill Sherry Butt for 17 years before being bottled at a natural strength of 57.2% ABV. It is one of 537 bottles.


Rich amber.


Oily sweetness with quite restrained smoke, though it’s still clearly present.

A hugely moreish nose with salted caramel and toffee, dried fruit, fresh tobacco and banana bread (great tasting note from the label).

With water becomes a lot more sweet and light; almost getting like the Springbank 15 we reviewed a while ago. Loses some of the depth with water however.


Sweet and savoury in abundance; BBQ ribs and all sorts of other cooked meat with a sharp sweetness. Mouth feel is thick and rich (and delicious!).

The smoke comes in towards the end without ever dominating. A little bit of sulphury rubber pops up followed by sticky sweetness into the long finish.

Diluted, the taste mirrors the nose in that everything gets lighter and sweeter. A more dominant ash flavour appears and the savoury moves into the background.

It’s good with water, but I think neat with just a couple of drops is probably best.


This is the fourth sherried Bowmore expression we’ve reviewed on Braw Spirit, so it’s safe to say that we like it!

3.237 is an excellent example, with the sherry sweetness and peat smoke very well balanced and the nose and taste both providing lovely rich and varied flavours.

Water does lighten the whisky a little, but my preference is neat or with the smallest drop of water as any more kills the deep flavours.

Unfortunately this bottling sold out ages ago, but the SMWS seems to have a good stock of sherried 3’s at the moment and given how good they’ve been of late, it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for them in future Outturns.

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