Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bowmore 12 Year Old

Whisky Type/Region: Single Malt Scotch Whisky/Islay 

Bottle Size: 750ml

Alcohol by Volume: 40%

Notes:After my first exposure to peated whisky, with Talisker 10 went so well, I decided to try one from the isle of peated whiskies, Islay. My first pick was this Bowmore 12, and frankly, it was a bit of a disapointment. It had the peat I was looking for, but it was less integrated, with none of the harmony of flavors the Talisker had. It was complex enough, with many different tastes and smells to enjoy, but it didn't please the palate (at least my palate) like the Talsiker did, and the low ABV (40%) didn't help it at all! As I later learned, at this price range the younger 10 year olds from Ardbeg and Laphroaig are much more enjoyable! Coming back to this one again hasn't changed that opinion. I would recommend both of the aforementioned 10 year olds, over Bowmore 12, as a proper introduction to Islay's peated whiskies. Don't completely discount Bowmore though! More recently, I've tried other expressions in the Bowmore Range, with much better results!

Note: Both of the examples of Bowmore 12 I've tried, were pre Rachel Barrie taking over as Master Distiller. Now that she has had some time to oversee Bowmore's operation, this part of the Bowmore range might have improved from the two older bottlings I've tasted. When I see a bottle with the new packaging, I'll have to try this expression again.

Nose:Pretty standard ex-Bourbon cask honey, a lemony citrus, and bonfire smoke.

Taste: Smokey peat, baked apple, a little salty bite, then some allspice, pineapple and dark chocolate. 

Finish: The finish is long, with the chocolate and peat lingering.

My Personal Ranking: 80/100

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