Whisky Connosr

Bowmore 12 Year Old

The west coast middleman...

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@hunggarReview by @hunggar

9th Sep 2013


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

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Some people swear by Bowmore while others don’t care for it. I like it fine, although my initial reaction to it wasn’t overly positive. I bought the 15 year old Darkest a while ago. My now outdated review suggests that I was disappointed. At the time I was. But the whisky has opened up a lot since I first bought it, and I find myself appreciating it more and more. I should rewrite that review with a higher score now. Anyway, it was that newfound appreciation prompted me to buy the 12 to see how it measures up.

Nose: Lovely peat, milk chocolate, smoked bacon, crème brulée, banana, citrus, and a pinch of salt. Light, coastal, smoky, and ever so slightly fruity. Pleasant.

Palate: Medium bodied. Quite a gentle dram by Islay standards. More oak on the palate. Nuts, sea salt, bacon, and a lovely light honey note dominate here. The smokiness is more intense here than it was on the nose.

Finish: Smooth as silk, with a lingering salty, dry oak note that seems to go on and on. Medium long and satisfying.

This is much better than expected. It bridges the gap between coastal/island drams, Campbelltown, and the peat monsters of Islay. One could call it a light Islay whisky. One could also mistakenly call it a peated coastal whisky, or a Campbelltown whisky with a differently styled peat presentation and stronger coastal notes. Either way, I enjoy the fact that this whisky is both robust and unassuming. It’s perhaps a bit too understated for some, but I think it suits the whisky. Also, I think the 40% abv works here. I know that sounds nuts, and it’s the first time I’ve EVER thought that about a whisky. But this dram isn’t about a kick in the pants. The peat gives this enough intensity. But it’s understated nature leads me to believe that this is exactly what it should be; a smooth intermediary of west coast flavours and characters. Good stuff.

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Jonesz commented

I agree. 40% ABV is a bit light for my usual tastes but seems to be OK in this dram. Going to head down right now and replenish my supply. Snowing here, this will go well by the fire this evening. Jonesz

10 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

Tastes a bit like "peated water" to me..nice nose, but very. Tame on the palate. Very thin.

With 4 drops of water in a ~20 cc pour (from a 3 sample pack), the nose became less intense (doh!) , and no effect on the palate.

I won't even finish the dram.....

10 years ago 0

vrudy6 commented

This review piqued my interest. I'm not too thrilled about Laphroaig and Ardbeg style whiskies, but I can easily see me enjoying this 12 yo expression afterreading your review. Thanks!

9 years ago 0