Whisky Connosr
Shop Join

Bowmore 15 Year Old - Darkest

Whisky Advent Calendar - Day 22

0 989

@talexanderReview by @talexander

23rd Dec 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Some friends and I briefly visited Bowmore in May of this year. We didn't have time to tour the distillery, but browsed the visitor centre, where they had many rare deluxe bottlings on display. The fully stocked bar doles out free drams of Bowmore Legend and 12 Year Old - you could literally sit there and drink all day for free! It's gorgeous, with a whitewashed exterior, and perched right on the shores of Loch Indaal. This whisky has spent three of its fifteen years in Oloroso sherry casks, and is one of the standard core range offered by the distillery.

The colour is a dark copper. On the nose, rich dark chocolate, Turkish coffee, herbal with mint and sage. Lots of dates and raisins. Definite sherry wood influence. With water, the peat takes prescence.

On the palate, many of the same notes with more toffee, buttered dark rye bread and a hint of peat. You really get the oak here. With water, the peat becomes more prominent, as does the malt.

The finish is smokier with a lot of depth. More of the malt comes through, and tannic on the death. This is one of my favourite Bowmores, luxurious but also straightforward, displaying the best characteristcs the distillery has to offer. Sipping this is a lovely way to spend Dec 22nd, with Siobhan and I wrapping Christmas presents and sharing a dram or two.

Related Bowmore reviews


Victor commented

Murky dirty-sherry Bowmore Darkest 15 YO. This one divides people. It has lovers and haters. I'm one of the lovers. Thanks for your review, @talexander.

9 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

The E150a doesn't bother you? I like the taste of this one, but I do taste the fake caramel in it and it cheapens the whole experience for me.

9 years ago 0

Pandemonium commented

I love whisky from oloroso casks, I love Islay, I love peat, I generally like Bowmore, but like Victor said, there are lovers and haters. I don't necessarily hate Bowmore Darkest, but it felt to me like they were trying very hard not to produce a bowmore like malt. It just felt a bit unfinished to me

9 years ago 0

wtrstrnghlt commented

I don't really enjoy the OB's from Bowmore. I dislike the 12y, the 15y tastes funny and the 18y is 'mweh OK' but not nearly good enough compared to HP18 for instance.

I do have a nice IB which is Sherry finished though.

9 years ago 0

talexander commented

If E150a fundamentally bothered me, I would have to stop drinking about a bazillion good whiskies…which I ain't about to do! I highly doubt you're tasting E150a in a glass of this, more likely just too much cask influence (or what for you is poor cask influence).

9 years ago 0

hunggar commented

Personally speaking I don't detect any E150a in this, but I can appreciate the fact that the whisky would garner more respect and perhaps an ever-so-slightly better flavour without it. Aside from the colouring, I think this is a fantastic dram. Definitely on the sweet side, but I like the woodiness and richness to it. Great review, @talexander, as usual.

9 years ago 0

Nemesis101 commented

I love Bowmore, particularly the Darkest, (esp at this time of year too and I have just bought a bottle in time for Christmas). But I'd like it even more if they dropped the E150a.

Glad you enjoyed your visit to Bowmore - I went there just over two years ago and yep, the Visitor's Centre is very good. I spent a good time looking longingly at the Gold Bowmore they had on display! Don't recall them doling out the free samples, although I was there at 9:30am so probably a tad early.

9 years ago 0

talexander commented

@Nemesis101, I've actually tasted the Gold Bowmore - which is pretty much the greatest Bowmore I've ever tried. Incredibly complex, with the perfect balance of body, peat and barley.

9 years ago 0

vanPelt commented

Ah, my first Bowmore. Honestly, I wouldn't care if it were blue. Too many overpowering flavors to detect a dye anyway. And now I've moved "up", to its even stronger version: the Laimrig. Hard to imagine I'll ever need to come back.

9 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in