Bowmore 12 Year old Enigma

I want more... Bowmore!

Reviewed by
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2nd Mar 2010

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

The average score for this whisky is 82.

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Tasting Notes by markjedi1

Bowmore is the captial of Islay, but it's not at all a big place. The distillery, however, is not only the largest on the island, but also the oldest, founded in 1779. The spirit is used for the blends King Pride, Clan Roy, Black Bottle and Islay Legend. But there are of course quite a few bottlings as single malts.

This expression, the 12 Year Old Enigma, is to be found in a 1 litre bottle, since it's only available in the traval retail segment.

The color is a full gold, almost Old Sauternes and rather oily.

The nose is a sweet mix of caramel and the obligatory peat, but very soft peat indeed. It's not dominant at all. It's smells a bit like new car tyres. There is some salt, neatly packed in sweet sherry with honey. Even a little orange liquer. Think Cointreau, but softer. Leave it a while and you'll smell more of the wood. Very interesting and attractive. It's hard to stop smelling this one.

The first swallow... whoa! A kick in the teeth, truly. Halfway through it dries the mouth and becomes quite smokey, followed immediately with some sweet fruits and sherry. This dram is so rich, you can almost chew it!

The finish is long with the peat playing first violin again. Completely balanced dram in my book.

I'll be going abroad soon. I'll be on the lookout for this one in the duty free shop.


Whisky details








Full Gold



LeFrog wrote:

Do Bowmore add spirit caramel their whisky?

02 March 2010 23:27

LeFrog wrote:

Just has a dig and apparently they do add caramel:

02 March 2010 23:37

markjedi1 wrote:

Hi LeFrog, it's a procedure called 'tinting', they add caramel to give it a nicer look. I'm not for it, but many brands to this. Sometimes whiskymakers also add caramel to very young whisky that hasn't received 'enough color' from the casks yet.

03 March 2010 06:38

jdcook wrote:

Adding caramel and the chill filtration process are the two most controversial processes used in whisky production today. Still - if a dram looks and tastes good, whose going to argue...

06 March 2010 10:35

markjedi1 wrote:

Hear, hear. I'm told the adding of caramel for aesthetic purposes does nothing to the taste.

06 March 2010 13:22

roberto wrote:

are U sure? This enigma is matured in sherry cask, so the color can be stronger than normal ex-bourbon cask. The color is near Glendronach/Dalmore, sherried speyside.

11 November 2010 16:20

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