Whisky Connosr
Menu
Shop Join

Bowmore 18 Year Old

How does Bowmore make money?! (III)

0 1173

@TheConscienceReview by @TheConscience

25th Dec 2014

0

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    73

Show rating data charts

Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I've never encountered a Bowmore that I found to be even remotely palatable. This include the few I've sampled and the many I've vicariously sampled (nosed them while others complained about the lack of palatability).

Nose: some residual vomit (see previous review of Bowmore 15), dull earthy peat, sugary-candy.

Palate: saccharine arrival with mild spice and watery peat. Thin and treacly overall.

Finish: nice bit of spice on the finish. Red fruits and watery sugar that dulls over time to reveal a vegetal note.

Seriously, how does Bowmore make money putting stuff like this out? It has deterred me from buying any Bowmore, including IB's. I'm sure they make some decent stuff....somewhere. I'll wait for a sample from a friend.

Related Bowmore reviews

11 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

Judging from your location I would guess that this series of reviews was based on the same triple miniature set from the LCBO as my 3 Bowmore review from early November. I had bought them a year earlier, never having tasted Bowmore, to prepare my palate for the Laimrig that was waiting for me in Calgary. I gas-preserved them and reviewed them a year later. It seems that time open in the small bottle has made no difference. I still have a vatting of the last of the three samples which I will try sometime, hoping together they will be better than the individual malts.

I must say though that I really like the Laimrig. I would highly recommend you try it. I may have a little left of the 2013 version that I could share. I have not yet opened the 2014... I could be persuaded.

I wonder if Bowmore needs to be at high strength to taste good.

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

Nice reviews. Mine, too, were based on the triple miniature set, though I have had Bowmore 12 and 18 independently as well. I gave away the bottle of Bowmore 12, so displeased was I with the product.

I have heard good things about Laimrig (and Tempest), though I am understandably reluctant to pull the trigger on a purchase. I would love to try a sample though - happy to share what I have in exchange.

High strength might help. It usually does. Though it might also simply magnify the terrible, terrible Bowmore flavours.

6 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

I agree on the Laimrig, it's a good one. Other than a 15 year old IB I picked up in Scotland, it's the only one I have liked. The 12 OB I thought was disgusting as was the NAS Legend I picked up at a duty free.

6 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@TheConscience I am not sure after reading your different reviews of Bowmore and Laphroaig that Laimrig is for you. You can read my review of it if you want but you must like flintstone flavors to like it. If you want a heavy sherry peated scotch, I would suggest the Benriach Herodotus Fumosus. The best part is that it is cheaper!

I have to tell you, my palate is quite different from yours. I had Bunnahabain 12 yo and for me there is a terrible cabage flavor I really dislike. As from the scotches from Cambeltown, Springbank as for me a rotten vegetable note that doesn't work . I now hesitate to have another dram of either of those scotches.

By the way, if you choose to go with Laimrig and you don't like it I will be opened to a trade.

6 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

Ardbeg Uigeadail has got the peat/smoke/sherry ratio down just about perfect.

6 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

Bowmore can have this effect on people. I see it as a niche flavour profile. They have a very specific set of flavours that may or may not suit your palate. I rarely love Bowmore, but I think it's an interesting and different distillery. Agreed, though, that the 18 is a lesser whisky. There's a soapy floral note that I can't get past in that one. As suggested, the Laimrig and the Tempest are better, but still quintessentially Bowmore. If you don't like the core range I'm sure you won't like those ones either. Thanks, @TheConscience for your very frank write-up.

6 years ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

The Laphroaig 18 is vastly superior to the Bowmore 18 IMHO, and bottled at 48%. Have a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year guys. Drink responsibly and stay safe. Cheers.

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

@Robert99, your review of Laimrig makes it sound quite appealing! You may be right, though, that it's not for me. I have a bottle of the Benriach of love it. I'm not necessarily on the hunt for a particular profile (sherried peat) more than I am attempting to broaden my horizons. I don't think I'd be willing to purchase any more Bowmore, but I would be willing to sample it. I would hate to write off an entire distillery....

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

@hunggar (is that a kung fu reference?), interesting assessment. As noted above, a main concern for me is that the entire range possesses this quintessential "Bowmore" profile you observe that offers only variation on (for me) the terrible Bowmore theme. I am willing to give it a shot if the output from me is minimal (i.e. not purchasing a bottle).

@Bluenote, I like the balance of Uggy, and thought it was competent, but overall I found it to be underwhelming. I had a recent batch, so not sure if that had anything to do with it. I actually enjoy the Benriach 12 peated PX much more than Uigedail. I would love to try Laphroaig 18. I sampled some Laphroaig recently that I quite enjoyed.

6 years ago 0

@vanPelt
vanPelt commented

The 18yo stands out in my mind as exceedingly light and dainty, so I can't wrap my head around the source of anything more jarring than violet blossoms.

To answer the main question: there are really good Bowmores, and even lesser ones appeal to newcomers because the peat is usually perceived as a softer and rounder smoke, relative to other Islays (besides Bunnahabhain).

To follow up on the other Bowmore suggestions: yes the higher ABV helps the Tempest, which I found did not take water well before revealing some more unpleasant notes you allude to. Yes the Laimrig is also helped by ABV, but I recall it takes water better than the Tempest does, so long as it is cool (Scotland temperature). For a good showcase of soft Bowmore peat, it's the standard 17yo you should try, very different from this 18yo. Outside of these 3, I haven't yet found another Bowmore that I loved out of 7 others expressions so far (but I found their 15yo Mariner above average).

6 years ago 0

@TheConscience
TheConscience commented

@ vanPelt, I didn't even know they made a 17 year old. Selection is pretty limited here in Ontario. And the LCBO would probably charge me $150.00 for the "privilege" of purchasing a bottle. Like anything, I'd be quite happy to give it an honest appraisal.

I am interested in the notion that higher ABV improves the flavour of Bowmore (rather than merely amplifying all of its undesirable qualities).

6 years ago 0

You must be signed-in to comment here

Sign in