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Bowmore 12

Tangy Peat

2 383

@RianCReview by @RianC

30th Jun 2020


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Bowmore
  • ABV: 40%

I recently bought a little pack of mini Bowmores including the 12, 15 and 18. I had never tried any Bowmore until now but the general impression I get is that it's a distillery that, perhaps, doesn't make the most out of their OBs.

So how is the standard 12? Review is neat.

Nose - Fairly quiet in the Glencairn but there's some tangy and ashy peat smoke, a little floral honey and a mild lemon note. There's also a note that I've come across before in some malts that I'd best describe as damp cardboard. It's not awful but it dominates the nose more than I'd like - packaging contaminaton, maybe?

Taste - Definitely a little thin on the palate but more of that floral honey, malt and then a very pleasing tang, or nip, if you will, of peat develops with some smoke at the tail. It's pleasant enough.

Finish - Some fairly bitter tannins and more of that lovely tang hangs around with some lemon peel.

A tiny drop of water does dampen the cardboard note and increases the ashy note. I also get a little caramel on the nose and palate. Probably an improvement.

As much as I want to 'go my own way' with this one I find I'm leaning to the consensus that there is a very decent malt in here somewhere but its presentation seems to be holding it back. That said, it's a light, peaty and rounded malt that seems pretty inoffensive and is certainly drinkable. I particularly like that tang of peat on the tongue that's reminiscent of a good bottle of JW Black.


Nozinan commented

Nice review. I think the frustration I have with Bowmore is that they have the capacity to produce fantastic stuff. Tempest, Laimrig, Devil's cask, all strong contestants. But then to come at us with these impotent expressions and charge a whole lot for the older ones! It defies logic and reason.

9 days ago 3Who liked this?

Victor commented

OB Bowmore 12 yo is the quintessence of the Bowmore house style. The 18 yo is 15% more refined for 250% of the price. The Darkest 15 yo w/sherry sometimes turns out well and sometimes not, apparently. I have liked what I have had so far of the 15 yo Darkest. The young ones, Bowmore Legend (8 yo) and McClelland's Islay (5 yo) are like the 12 yo only less wood mellowed. Some like this house style OK. That includes me, though these OB Bowmores do not ever tend to become big favourites, for me, or for most others. Bowmore Tempest? Yes, please! Bowmore Devil's Cask? Yes, please! Biowmore Laimrig? Yes, please! for most, though I am not sold on that one yet.

@Nozinan I think that you just do not care for the Bowmore house style. The special releases are just that, a relatively small number of their casks with special characteristics which are unlike the typical cask of OB Bowmore.

9 days ago 3Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

Your review is bang-on. I like Bowmore. I would probably score most bottles of the 12 Year Old 82-85, not mouthgasm-inducing by any means, yet I still have a soft spot for it. Of course, I’m probably one of the few people who enjoys very young, very raw Bowmore, i.e. McClelland’s Islay (reported for be a vatting of 4-6 year old Bowmore). There’s something a bit raw and/or “dirty” in Bowmore that I enjoy when the mood strikes me. Of course a higher proof Bowmore shows what the distillery is capable of.....but that seems to be in short supply these days.

8 days ago 1Who liked this?

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