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Bowmore 15 Year Old Mariner

Average score from 7 reviews and 23 ratings 85

Bowmore 15 Year Old Mariner

Product details

  • Brand: Bowmore
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 15 year old

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Bowmore 15 Year Old Mariner

The Mariner is a much maligned and apparently now discontinued line among Bowmore’s standard bottlings, understandable really as it’s younger siblings have always been preferable to me. It pours an amber coloured liquor with a simple but characteristic Bowmore aroma of smoke and seaweed. On the palate the smoke and seaweed continue with a slightly fishy note and some kind of sweetness penetrates maybe from the liquorish or peat which play minor roles. A really good mouthful of flavours, even if they don’t all sing a harmonious tune. The complexity is stripped away at the finish leaving smoke and peat. If the nose and finish lived up to the taste this would score very well, as it is I’m left a little disappointed, no foreplay and a dull climax.

Nice notes, matching many of my sentiments. The only younger Bowmore I'd prefer is the Tempest, so I wonder which younger ones you liked (12yo, enigma, surf, legend, etc.). To me, the foreplay and climax here are all about the soft and sweet smoke, one of the better Bowmore smokes. It really suited summertime, backyard grilling.

vanPelt, I was refering to the 12 year old and to a lesser extent the Legend. I've not had the pleasure of a Tempest yet, they seem a bit up and down from reviews I've read, and the price tags do not encorage experimentation. I'll probably relent one day...


Nose: Brown sugar and brine, raisins. Light peat evokes a beachside grill. All this with the seaweed/iodine makes me crave baked oysters. If colder: A dark sweet bread, like spice loaf. If warmer: smokey charcoal.

Palate: Similar to the nose (described above). Extremely pleasant with savory/salty peat, really like grilled/blackened fresh fish. And to balance it all out, the fruits-de-mer has a light squeeze of lemon over some molasses glaze.

Finish: More of the same-- slight sweetness, mild green apple peel, and an extremely pleasant sweet smoke that lingers in the nose while I monitor the grille.

I was happy to mistakenly buy this while searching for the "other" (and completely different) Bowmore 15 expression, "Darkest". Luckily this expanded my range at the time, and now it's hard to imagine living without keeping this character in my cabinet.


Nice, complex peatiness to this one. Picked it up in a Duty Free. Potent on the palate but smooths out quickly. One of my favorites from the Islay region.


(Caramel colouring added)

Nose: Sweet wood and fruit. Prunes caramalised in brown sugar. Muscat. Polished cedar. Green apple skin.

Body: Smooth

Taste: Savoury. Herbal bitterness with a bit of salt. Lavender extract. Vanilla cookies. Floral smoke. Bit rough on the throat.

Finish: Medium long and dry. Oak. Slight smoke. Similar green apple as was in the nose. The oak lingers.

Comment: I didn't like this much at first. I think its because the nose promises something very desserty, but the taste delivers something much more herbal. There is also that lavender extract that pops up shortly after the first sip, which takes some getting used to. But the finish is quite nice. This whisky has grown on me. I've had better drams, but for the price I paid this is pretty good value.

@jcs82, nice review. I've not tried this one, but did try the previous bottling of the Bowmore 15 Mariner, that suffered from what some call 'French whore perfume', something very flowery and soapy on the nose. Rather - if you don't mind my saying so - discusting and off putting. Did this one suffer from FWP as well?

@markjedi1, I don't get the perfume on the nose, and those I've shared this with have not mentioned it either. But there is that weird lavender extract on the palate that i would agree is a bit soapy, and is definitely a bit off-putting. Could you also taste the FWP in the older bottling?


Picked this up at Duty Free, where a litre was around £30 or so. True Bowmore character, salty, lots of peat, great finish. If you see it, buy it.


This piece of art is possible the best single malt i have ever tasted. it is dark , mystic, and even though forgiving in its taste and aroma. The absolutely best i have ever tasted!

I um-ed and ah-ed about this comment, because while it felt to me like JohnoftheYard's comment was a little abrupt (and that could just be me, and if it is I apologise unreservedly), I do agree with the basic idea behind the comment, and I don't want to discourage anyone from putting down their experiences.

That said, not everyone has the experience to single out individual tastes in whiskies (as a beginner myself, I'm still fairly self-conscious about it). Personally I find this resource very helpful:


Perhaps we could get something like this added as a link to the 'Add a Review' page? Or even have a prominent page about hints on writing reviews? The more people review, the more information is available to everyone.

Just my 5c...

What does it taste like then?

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