Whisky Connosr

Bowmore 12 Year Old


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@TheConscienceReview by @TheConscience

15th May 2012


Bowmore 12 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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As I mentioned in a previous review, I must often purchase my whisky blind and, therefore, I conduct quite a lot of research on a malt before committing. I was looking for an Islay or Island style single malt that would be a good bang-for-buck dram. All roads led to Bowmore. It is ubiquitous, inexpensive and, in nearly all cases, reasonable well-rated. Widely available for a mere $45 at the LCBO at the time, I felt that this was an easy decision and purchased with confidence. The results were....disappointing....

Nose: rich but tame smoke and soft peat. There is a pronounced sweetness, honey, red fruits, and orange. A very pleasant nose indeed.

Palate: light in the mouth. Initial soft smoke arrival, then sweet syrup and soft fruit. My only wish is that the whisky stop developing at this point, as it is quite agreeable. However, the flavours dissipate and the whisky becomes watery, thin, restrained, and underwhelming, like some cheap blends. This would be tolerable, if not for the finish.

Finish: the flavours drop away rapidly, leaving a prolonged vegetal and spicy leaf finish upon which some fruit essence can be found to linger. The finish is quite long, but dry and nearly indistinct if not for the vegetal vestiges. I glance at my watch, wondering when it will end.

I tried all that I could to redeem my purchase - every permutation of water and time in the glass and the bottle, cleansed my palate, dulled my palate, added Splenda (ok, that last one is a joke). Yet, rather than finding improvements, I found only bitter (literally) disappointment. Not wanting to dispose of the whisky, but not wanted to consume it either, or inflict it upon guests, I have since donated it to a fellow Connosr member where it will be treated with the respect and dignity it probably deserves.

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michaelschout commented

I know what you're talking about with the vegetal finish, although I don't mind it at all. The 12 year old is one of my favourite entry-level whiskies. That being said, I am completely biased towards Bowmore.

12 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

I haven't tried any Bowmore yet, but it should be interesting to see it when I do, I've heard both good and not so good things about it. I've been trying to win a bottle of it for ages now because I figure that way I can try it with at least no pain to my check book hahaha.

12 years ago 0

YakLord commented

I've got a bottle of Bowmore 12 sitting in my storage room. I was planning to open it in June, but opted instead of the Laphroaig QC. That being said, I did have the opportunity to try a 5cl sample, and it wasn't bad: it is probably the gentlest of the Islay whiskies that I've tried so far. The one really off-putting thing for me is the totally un-natural golden caramel colour: it is too perfect, sort of like the original versions of 'The Matrix'...

11 years ago 0