Bowmore 12 years old – whisky review

Bowmore 12

“Islay. Favorite residence of the lords of the isles, crowned here – in the presence of the kingsmen. A place rich with legends. Rivers tumble down thru the moors. Pure mountain water stained tan, by the peaty earth – the magical ingredient used by the alchemists of Bowmore”

Bowmore Islay

When I first saw the movie „the distillers art”, my curiosity began to turn into a passion. It was an important moment in my Whisky-education and so far it is one of my favorite documents about this spirit.

Today, a dram from this distillery came to my glass.

Bowmore 12

Bowmore means „big hut”

Scotch Single Malt

Region: Islay

40% ABV

12 years old

Peated, about 20 PPM

Chill filtered

Matured in ex-Bourbon barrels (probably with the addition of ex-Sherry casks)

Bowmore 12 Single Malt

Color: amber + 1, with a fairly large addition of caramel

Tasting notes

Nose: bourbon, marzipan, lemon peel, smoke from the fire, wheat bread, Werther’s Original candy, freshly cut grass, salty, sea breeze. At the beginning, you can feel an alcoholic hit, but after a dozen or so minutes, the scent mellows. „A minute in a glass for a year in a cask” – by applying this principle, we will discover much, much more when it comes to both fragrance and taste. 20/25

Palate: cocoa, coffee liqueur, butterscotch, wholemeal bread, smoke, maple syrup, muscovado sugar, prunes, almonds, apple seeds, Galia melon. Alcohol is well hidden. 20/25

Finish: raisins, plum butter, cloves, lemon juice, honey, smoked cheese. Short, but pleasant 19/25

Balance: pleasant smell and good taste. I would expect more from the oldest distillery of Islay. Here we have an artificial color, chill-filtration, which took the best … minimal ABV level. Why write more? 18.5 / 25

Overall: 77.5 / 100

Other reviews:

Serge (2016): 83/100

Miler (2013): 74/100

Price: approx. EUR 30.

Charm of the distillery

It has been several years since I found the video, mentioned above on YouTube. I also had the opportunity to taste various products from this distillery several times. It all boils down to the fact that if this Whisky would be half as good as the film … I would more often go for it – and I could honestly recommend it …

However, every time I return to the products from this distillery, I constantly wonder: „what happened? What went wrong? Where has this reputation, once so famous, gone? ”


Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad Whisky. I will say more – for the price, it is worth recommending … however … if someone would ask me to tell about this Whisky in a short sentence… I would say: Bowmore, it’s only Bowmore”.

Of all Islay distilleries, I least like Whiskies from Bowmore. Today (in 2018) there are 9 distilleries out there, of which one doesn’t bottle its products yet (Gartbreck, founded in 2017 – we have to wait a minimum of 2 years). There is also Port Ellen, but it has been closed for decades. And Bowmore … at the beginning of the adventure with peaty Whiskies, I recommend it, but do not expect a revelation.

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