Review No.210. Bowmore 18 Year Old

I am not sure where I stand when it comes to Bowmore.  I should like the Bowmore style, that is salty and tropical, but for some reason I never regularly seek out their bottles.  The 9 year old was too sickly sweet for me, the 12 was balanced more to my liking without really standing out and the highly rated 15 year old had more complexity but a bit too sweet for my liking.  I haven’t come across a Bowmore that I could say that I would buy again and again.  I keep looking towards Amrut Fusion instead, which is so yummy and complex and excellent value for money I think.  I was still curious to try the 18 year old version of Bowmore, maybe this is the one that wins me over.


Whisky: Bowmore 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 43%

Nose: Ash, lavendar, wood, salt and vinegar, mangoes, seaweed

Taste: Barley sugar, tobacco, ash, salt water, chilli, mixed spices, oranges

Finish: Dry, smokey, salty, mulled wine

Score: 3.25

Summary: This one is more to my preference than the 9, 12 and 15 year old versions.  There is more spice and mature tobacco notes to keep that sweetness in check.  The coastal/smokey elements are noticeable too and play and equal part in the experience.  I get mango, oranges and some barley sugar followed by chilli and spice.  Nothing takes over, these flavours mingle quite nicely.  That said, I didn’t notice any of the flavours develop, I wasn’t finding anything new with each sip.  This is nice enough but at prices approaching £80 I would rather stick to Amrut Fusion.



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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