Review No.157. Bowmore 12 Year Old

Bowmore is a well known brand and is owned by Beam Suntory, who also own Auchentoshan and Laphroaig as well as famous Japanese brands such as Yamazaki and Hakushu and Jim Beam over in the US.  So they have quite an extensive portfolio.  Bowmore is an Islay whisky which of course means that their style is peated.  Bowmore are known for maturing their whiskies in ex sherry casks so you get dark fruit and smoke with many of their offerings.  Their range consists of an entry level non age statement called the No.1, then there is this 12 year old alongside a 15, 18 and 25 year old.  There are numerous limited editions bottles too.  I remember trying the Bowmore 12 for the first time at a whisky tasting event and really liking it so I thought it was worth revisiting it and putting some tasting notes together.


Whisky: Bowmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40%

Nose: BBQ smoke, sweet BBQ sauce, rubber, stewed apples and pear, sultanas and raisins, cinnamon

Taste: Dark fruits, BBQ sauce, chilli and pepper, peat, burnt wood

Finish: Spice and peat

Score: 3

Summary: This is a pleasant peated single malt.  The peat brings a lot of character to this one with a combination of rubber and burnt wood.  The smoke is not too strong compared to other single malts from Islay. Most noticeably is the sweet BBQ characteristic of this which nicely balances off against the peat.  There is spicy note to this lingering in the background and it doesn’t get in the way of what else is going on.  Overall it is not complex and I think it would benefit a lot from being a slightly higher strength.  If you are looking for a good balance between peat and sweet notes then this is ideal.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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