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.
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.
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.