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Bowmore 12 Year Old

Interesting....but could be outstanding

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@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

29th Sep 2020


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Standard Bowmore releases seem to get no love from the whisky connoisseur community. Sure, older bottlings from the 1960s and 1970s are sought after, as are Bowmore offerings from Independent Bottlers (Samaroli comes to mind), but the humble OB Bowmores are under-appreciated in this writer's humble opinion. With that in mind, here are my notes from my latest bottle of the standard 12 year old from Islay's oldest distillery.

Neat from a Canadian Glencairn

  • Nose: gentle wood smoke, citrus (lemons and orange), vanilla, a bit of cinnamon.
  • Palate: light bodied, yet there's still a touch of oiliness, sugar cookies with vanilla-lemon frosting, orange zest, a bit of brine, and a faint maritime flavour (iodine? seaweed?).
  • Finish: darker and slightly longer than I expected, damp oak, green olives, freshly ground coffee beans, road tar, vanilla and shortbread lingers.

I have to say, this is more interesting than I expected from an inexpensive malt bottled at the minimum legal abv. At the risk of sounding snobby, I think this would go from "interesting" to "remarkable" if it were bottled at, say, 48% abv or so.

Related Bowmore reviews


Alexsweden commented

Thank you @OdysseusUnbound, nice review. In my book this is one of the most underrated whiskies! I always thoroughly enjoy it whenever i have it

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

I appreciate your reviews, as always, and I'm willing to accept that the one I reviewed was a lesser batch, but I have to say I would never buy a bottle of this stuff without tasting from the exact same batch, and even then, if I have a bottle of Laimrig, this would never be touched.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

The mouth waters at the thought of this at 48% ABV.

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@Nozinan Agreed, Laimrig is an al time favorite for me. Tempest is another sorely missed bottle.

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

@Astroke come visit. We can re-acquaint you.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

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