Whiskies can vary slightly from one bottling to the next. They get most of their flavour from oak, after all, and each cask matures at its own pace. Consistency rests in the hands – or nose, more appropriately – of the master blender, who selects and marries the contents of numerous casks. That’s why the point scores of such whisky experts as Jim Murray can vary significantly from one bottling of a particular spirit to the next. And so I find myself awarding 95 points to this gem of an Islay single malt, two higher than when I last reviewed it a couple of years ago. The whisky’s been getting better, I think, like many Bowmore products in recent years (though I can’t deny its smoky flavour might have been flattered by an especially frigid winter spell when I sampled it). All the classic charred wood, earth, iodine and saline qualities are here along with dried fruit and luscious sherry characters. And there are wonderful hints of smoked charcuterie and toasted nuts; $89.99 in B.C., various prices in Alberta, $74.19 in Saskatchewan, $86.15 in Manitoba, $99 in Quebec, $75.79 in New Brunswick, $72.98 in Nova Scotia, $84.77 in Newfoundland.