Bowmore 12 Year Old

Sometimes a blog can be stuffed full of exotic releases which are either too expensive or too sold out for anyone to make any use of. What people sometimes want to see is a quick reference to the widely available and widely discounted single malts which could be a potential impulse buy while standing in the supermarket.

To that end I am reviewing the first peater I ever tried, the Bowmore 12 Year Old. It is widely available in bars and supermarkets alike. There may be better islay single malts but is there any other age stated ones so ubiquitous and approachable?

The Distillery

I have visited the distillery and will write about that trip soon but I have also extensively written about the history of the distillery in other views and dedicated posts on the subject. For information on Bowmore see the Small Batch Review. For information on the history of Bowmore check out the new boiler being fitted in the 1964 and for information on the distillery and the village of Bowmore check out the posts on Islay Photographs 1902-1960 and Islay and RAF Port Ellen

The Dram


The 12 year old Bowmore is bottled at 40% ABV and is coloured and filtered. It is mostly ex-bourbon casks in the mix so is quite a traditional classic flavour profile. The casks also seem to continue quite a lot of refill casks which make this a spirit led and classic malt. It is widely available almost everywhere and has been put into supermarkets now the “Small Batch” release has been discontinued.

Tasting Notes

Colour – slightly fake

Nose – A very frsh nose with lots of sea spray and seaweed. Very little in the way of smoke or peat on the nose though. Touch of charring though.

Palate – The peat smoke is noticable now but again its a delicate flavouring rather than a harsh knock on the head. More brine notes which is the most dominate character of the whisky. The texture is thin and the feeling is generally pretty watery which is disappointing.

Finish – Quite a short finish and again it is very subtle. This has been let down by the strength I feel and the filtering but it generally follows the palate with brine, touch of smoke and not much else.

Final Thoughts

This is a good introduction to the Islay region but the dram is pretty timid and boring. If you struggle with brine-y whiskies though this is one to avoid because you will struggle to get past it. In fact, it is probably best to avoid most bowmore’s if that is the case as even the small batch which was meant to continue a lot of first fill casks was salt heavy in my opinion.

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