Scotch - Single Malt

Bowmore 12yr Old Islay Single Malt Whisky

From: Islands, Scotland Liquor Review Category: Single Malt Scotch

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 2
This is a Tier 2 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.
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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2007
  • 2009
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2015
  • 2016

Beverage Testing Institute

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2004
  • 2011
  • 2015

Proof66 Notes

The Bowmore 12yr is the flagship product and recognized for its distinctive Islay peat. It is bottled at the minimum of 80 proof, slightly lower than many single malts at 86. We take this to mean it will have a less biting, robust flavor profile.

The Bowmore Distillery was officially founded in 1779 on the island of Hebridean Island of Islay. They take pride in hand-turning their barley in the malting room in the traditional practice, something seldom done in the modern era. They dry the barley over peat smoke and mature the whisky in casks facing the sea. Bowmore was purchased by Morrison Bowmore Distilleries in 1963, which itself was purchased by Suntory in 1994.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 5 ratings and 5 reviews.
Slàinte Mhath Slàinte Mhath (38) (2016-09-22)
Of all Islay distilleries, Bowmore is the oldest but arguably the most uninteresting. Its 12-year-old expression is intensely colored (E150a) and less peated than other Islay Single Malts. The nose is distinctly earthy with fresh vegetables, citrus fruits and an occasional alcoholic burn. A warming glow accompanies the arrival, while the peatiness is restrained and yet somewhat unique. Sweet spices, herbal notes and dried fruits lead to a rather dry finish with a touch of bitter chocolate. This whisky is certainly worth a try but lacking intrinsic quality. RATING: 3.0/5.0 ≙ 83 pts
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
Slàinte Mhath (2016-05-29):
Update: I recently tested an older miniature of Bowmore 12 that was of much better quality. There was almost no alcoholic burn and the whisky was quite well-balanced. My above review is based on a tasting from a recent 70 cl bottle, so be aware that there might be some batch variation!

Shmotch Shmotch (41) (2016-02-27)
Modestly priced Islay peat monster. Nice peat flavor without succumbing to too much smoke. Quite smooth, nice caramel notes, although I detect a very slight medicinal taste in the finish
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
Slàinte Mhath (2016-05-29):
I'd disagree calling Bowmore 12 a 'peat monster'. It's certainly peated but far less than Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Lagavulin.

Shmotch (2016-05-29):
I agree it's not in the realm of the peat titans like and erg or

Shmotch (2016-05-29):
FFS I can't edit a comment?

Shmotch (2016-05-29):
What I was going to say was, yes I agree, not a peat monster like ardbeg or laphroiag, but certainly a peat beastie, perhaps closer to caol illa in peat spectrum

Phizbin Phizbin (204) (2013-08-10)
This is an amazingly drinkable Islay. Its beautiful. The peat is there in all its glory but it doesnt beat you up every second of the sip. Some islays ate like being in single combat with your drink. Not this. Exceptional value for the price.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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krashenberne krashenberne (10) (2013-01-12)
I agree with the previous assessment. Nothing special here
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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magezi magezi (55) (2012-03-08)
Not your typical peaty Islay monster (or peaty monster Islay). There is little bit peat and coastal aroma, but overall it's more like round easy going whisky. It's ok, but nothing special.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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Here are the barcodes we have collected from various sizes of this bottle. If you have additional barcodes please submit them to us!
  • 850483000055
  • 050483000059
  • 010496001387
  • 010496001615
  • 010496080726
  • 27052219
  • 5010496001615
  • 5010496080627
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