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Bowmore 12 Year Old

(70cl, 40%)

Bowmore 12 Year Old

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Bowmore 12 Bottling Note

The heart of the Bowmore range, the 12 year old exhibits some beautiful coastal notes with a gentle peat, it is the balance that the floral element presents that makes this a great entry bottling for Bowmore.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Coastal smoke and ash soon make way for bergamot, orange zest, lemon slices and some hay before becoming rather floral, heather smoke now competing with the ash.

Palate: Lovely and rounded, honeyed even, initially. Vanilla, perfumed smoke and coastal elements develop. Dark Peat. Blossom, oily sweetness.

Finish: Smoky and long. Sea spray, dry grass, a touch of ash and citrus.

Overall: Classic stuff and the heart of the Bowmore range. Smoky, fruity, coastal, delicious.

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Bowmore 12 Year Old Reviews

A Scotsman's view

This is a great whisky for the common man. OK so it's not going to stand up to finer whiskies of greater strength and smaller batch, but it is better than most in its price range, especially if you pick it up discounted. This 12 year old is streets ahead of your Glenlivits, Highland Parks and Glenmorangies ect.
A lot of poor reviews seem to be unfair in my humble, working class Scottish opinion. It is what it is, a great honest, affordable dram for the workers of the world.

24th November 2020

4 .2 dtares

I was impressed;mixed with a drop of tap water,it compared very well with much pricier malts of the same vintage.

22nd November 2020

Great well-rounded Islay

Well rounded Islay scotch. Smoke. Peat. Sweet grass. Heather. Deeply satisfying.

20th November 2020

Not for me

This is quite strange, very strong citrus and a strange taste. I just moved from a Bowmore no1 which Inloce and this is totally different. It’s noticeably different from the others Islay malts. I agree with the other comments of an oily taste. Don’t think I’ll bother with this again.

2nd October 2020

Good scotch

I never really got into Single malts, especially with a bit of smoke in them, i'm more of a bourbon guy, but this was surprisingly good, tried this at my friends place and enjoyed it quite a lot! Not too much smoke, could actually have been a bit more in it, but still a really solid single malt, especially for 40 bucks where i live

15th September 2020

Best choice for those new to Islay

I usually drink Speysides and love the Sherry and Port finished whisky's. Picked this up for $33 US on a whim. This is an amazing whisky to start a journey away from Speyside and Highland towards Islay. Not overly in your face but for me a wonderful lingering taste of smokes almonds.

11th September 2020


I know whisky is subjective but I struggle to understand how the dreadful Old Pulteney or Glenlivet 12 can average 4.5 stars and this 3.5. For me this is streets ahead. Not as strong as Ardbeg or Laphroig for smoke and peat but certainly has its own distinctiveness for an Islay. Often can be snapped up for £26 this a must have. Giving it 5 stars just to level up some of the previous reviews.

6th September 2020

Sweetish gentle smokey drink

Its actually not bad.If not wonderful. In SA its also well priced. Always been a bit puzzled as to why ralfy.....who I rate hates the stuff. But I buy the odd bottle. Its no Ardberg 10 though.

29th August 2020

Bowmore 12 yo is the one you want!

Highland Park was my tipple of choice, next came Laphroaig, Talisker and Lagavulin. Then I discovered Bowmore 12 yo and it has the best characteristics of each of them.

It's now my first choice of single malt.

28th August 2020

Great Islay Whisky

Lovely Islay whisky, just a drop of water is all you need.

12th August 2020

Try to avoid this

Very disappointing. It tastes like a mix of sweet, oily, peaty Islay and a low quality whisky. No body, no balance, sharp unpleasant burn in palate. At first it´s truly great in the nose, but after you taste it, greatness disappears immediately. Very lame aftertaste, a bit like the whisky would turned suddenly into a water. Difficult to explain, I´m not a native english speaker, but the taste disappears soon. Not even near for example Ardbeg 10 or Laphroaig QC. I´m quite sure that this whisky suffers much because of chill filtration. 12 years old? Really?

2nd August 2020


I’ve tried many bottles of bowmore 12 and my tasting notes were always somewhat different but the conclusion was always - unsatisfying. There is something to this islay that is just not on par with other islays.
Sometimes its too sweet and unbalanced, other times I notice a very unpleasant plasticy smoke or taste unlike wood or charcoal smoke in other peated islays.
It’s a more affordable islay here in Canada and I would love to like it but unfortunately I find it simply unpleasant to the point I can’t finish a bottle something that would never happen with laphroig, ardbeg or lagavulin.

28th June 2020

A lovely introduction to Islay

A very easy drinker; smells great, it's light and sweet but still packs plenty of flavour.

30th May 2020

Best "cheaper" bodyed singlemalt

My favorite among the cheaper Islays, my go-to whisky so rounded and balanced but still enough body for a Lagavulin-fan

27th May 2020

Good one

Fantastic whisky. Great balance and wonderfully peated. Easily one of the best Islay whiskies I've tasted.

29th April 2020

Very presentable on any occasion lovely dram

What a lovely dram she is absolutely bang on the Button for a beginners whiskey as we know we Whiskey drinkers know we all have to work a little to enjoy the whiskey as a drink itself if you ar dipping your toe into the world of whiskey then this is a very fine malt tae get ye started on this amazing journey enjoy bye an open fire and yer good tae go

13th April 2020

A great all rounder.

A great whisky for a the non peat lovers to explore a balanced rounded Scotch. It suits some occasions perfectly.

2nd March 2020


I laugh at some reviews. A different meal or the amount left in a bottle can effect the taste of any whiskey. I opened this bottle tonight and it's my new favourite over lagavulin 16 and Laphroaig 10. Its just the right amount of peat. It is light bodied and slippery. Lovely after taste.

28th February 2020

A Taste of Home

I am a very olde fart. Third generation Canadian. Grandfather was the first born here in 1885. We hail from Scotland. I don't care what the snobs say, this is my uisge-beatha. Give me a dram, a piper and I am almost home...

5th February 2020

Way overpriced

Quite thin and lacks character. Speyburn, which is less than half the price in the US, is comparable to this $50+ whiskey.

28th December 2019

My favourite Smoky whiskey.

I have tried many Bowmore ages and find this to be my favourite. It has a smoky finish which gives way (through Ice Cube) to a beautiful, almost sweet, raisin taste with a washed pear treat. The best I have tasted in my short time of relishing my taste for Scotland's best.

5th December 2019

Not a good value for money

There are an enormous amount of better whiskies available for the same price or a few quid extra. It's still a good introduction to peat as it's not got anything overpowering, except the overshadowing taste of old cigar ash in stead of pleasant wood or meat smoke, but it's an overall disappointing one.

4th November 2019

A fine dram!

A great intro for Islay neophytes. If you really like this then you may be ripe for some even more intense Islay offerings from the Bowmore line and others. Temper with water sparingly as it takes very little to expose Bowmore 12's many delights and only a little more to push it over the edge into dishwater . A great whiskey to have handy for guests; offering a pleasent intestity and depth of flavour at reasonable cost.

14th October 2019

Very disappointed

Very very weak. It mentions peat/smokiness but there's almost nothing in my bottle. It strangely has almost no scent, just a bit lemony. You take a sip, expect some flavour, get nothing, wait a little while, and nothing arrives. No particular whiskey flavour, just a faint lemon taste.

29th September 2019

Not so smoky

Still good but seems to have toned down the peat

31st August 2019

Lovely stuff

A really enjoyable malt. And for the price, very good too. Nice and rich, peaty (though not in the Lagavulin league of peatiness). Warming yet exciting!

25th February 2019

Excellent peated single malt scotch value

OK, here goes... As a big fan of peated, smoky scotch whisky, I find this to be an excellent dram AND excellent value. Bowmore 12 is a fantastic way to introduce those with a shy palate to peated single malt. Overall a smooth whisky with mild smoky peat flavour, its great neat and also really good with sofa or mixed into a Rusty Nail. For $48 at Superstore in Alberta, I would take this over a Glenfiddich 12 or Glenlivet 12 any day!

23rd February 2019

A tad dry

Pleasant and lively on the palate, 12 it is and given time it will be the ambrosia you asked for.

10th January 2019

Good value, interesting yet easy drinking

Very enjoyable and easy drinking. To me it feels like a bit of a cross between a sweeter Highland style and an Islay. Well balanced. Would be so much better bottled a few extra percent higher. But you know what I found is a nice trick: Throw a few drops of something massive like Ardbeg Uigeadail into your glass along with the Bowmore to make your own blend, you end up with something very complex yet super drinkable. Also, in China, where I am, this is available for around 20 quid sterling, not bad value at all, though admittedly for not much more you could get Laphroaig Quarter Cask, a more interesting malt, but also not as quaffable.

27th November 2018

Not bad

Well, it is not bad. a kind of fruity with some gentle peat but... Not great at all !
Drinkable obviously, will please your none whisky drinker friends. Just OK actually.

24th November 2018

Good example of Islay flavor at a reasonable price

Good example of Islay flavor at a reasonable price. More of the floral and sweet character of a decent Speyside than, say, Laphroig, which seems much more to be the essence of peat smoke. ...kind of a poor man's Lagavulin, maybe, with that broader flavor profile above the smoke. I like it at the price.

20th November 2018


Usually love this but was very spirity and peatiness almost totally gone half way down the bottle. Can only assume it was a bad batch as bottle only opened 3 weeks and stored correctly

20th November 2018

Delicious and Balanced

Peaty and Smokey...but not overwhelming at all. Lots of flavors come out as you sip it. Delicious on a fall night by the can’t go wrong with this at this price. Love this scotch!

16th November 2018

Great value and very enjoyable.

Very well balanced. Smooth with some sweetness and soft peated finish. A real easy sipper and will be replaced quickly due to its value for money.

10th October 2018

Balanced, with character.

I'm a fan of many of the classic Islay whiskeys-in the below $150 range. Bowmore strikes me as a terrific bargain .Granted, not for the intense peat appreciator, this whiskey is balanced, flavorful, not simple minded and eminently drinkable.I'm amazed at the harsh reviews. I'm not a novice to good whiskey; Bowmore will become standard fare.

30th September 2018

perfect balance

A lovely medium peated dram for a winters evening

17th September 2018

Smooth and Fruity pleasing to the palate

Smooth and Fruity pleasing to the palate

17th September 2018

I loved it

As someone who enjoys other flavour in whisky than simply peat I really enjoyed it. A deep and rich whisky with plenty of peat and fruit notes. Quite unique actually.

5th September 2018

Will continue to stick it in my bar.

Drinking Scotch is like Art.
You may not know what the experts and connisseurs think, but know what? I don't care, I like it and one of my favorite evening pastimes.
Great Scotch.

26th August 2018

Value Islay

A great value standard Islay malt. It lacks finesse and complexity, but for the price it is a reasonable buy. It has been discounted in the UK recently so there are good buying opportunities.

4th July 2018

Not overly pleated but very mellow. Would definitely purchase another bottle for the collection.

Recently had a bottle of Bowmore No1 and very nice too.
Noticed the 12 year old had discounted heavily so purchased a bottle.
Very nice too as the Sun rises after 6 nightshifts.
Have had Laphroig, Lagavuilin and of course Ardbeg.
This is very mellow.

30th June 2018

Not worth what I paid. Just okay.

I unfortunately paid $57 plus tax for this in my area. I was debating between trying this or Ardbeg Ueigedal. Boy do I feel like an idiot! There are so many better options in and under this price range. It's okay, but it lacks body. I agree with other reviews that it's thin and the smoke is artificial tasting. It's just not that interesting, and I get heartburn after drinking this almost every time (not so with other good whisky). Lagavulin 16 is a wonderful Islay--try that if you haven't and you like peat. This tastes like a dollar store generic version of an Islay whisky. I read one glowing review about this somewhere. Last time I'll trust an online opinion (I should've read more reviews). Now I have to either drink it and try to like it more or give it away.

25th May 2018

Solid if uninspiring

Didn't much like it at first. The smoky/peat tasted too much like liquid smoke. Came back to it about a week later and those flavours seemed less pronounced. Not a bad bottle, but I won't be going back to the well

15th April 2018

Taste like mentioned

First single malt I drank in years. Better than what I drank years ago. I normally drink beer or bourbon. Stuff the majority here looks down upon. As for this whisky's the taste is like mentioned on the bottle which is awesome regarding the heavy smokey taste at first. I agree with the reviewer before me. Lots of people with no taste seek that in whiskey?

9th April 2018

Let’s get this straight

If you are completely new to peated whisky, you have no business reviewing this. I am so tired of seeing people say they don’t like this and they give it a bad rating and say “acquired taste” if you haven’t acquired the taste of peat then you have no business reviewing it.

18th March 2018

Great value at £30

One of the best 12yr malts on the market. Subtle peaty notes in aroma and taste which is ideal for the un-schooled / beginner in islay whisky's. A great first buy. Quality colour for the age and smooth for a peat malt. I compare this to bunnahabhain's 12yr, although the latter is not for the Faint off heart. I give 4 stars five would need it to be stronger on the peat and lasting slightly longer on the palate.

21st January 2018

Not what I was looking for.

Watery. thin, harsh. $56.99 on sale, $3.00 off for Xmass here in B.C.. I'll stay with entry level McClelland's Islay and $10.00 cheaper. Heavier, smoky, salt air... it is the taste of the Island and more a Sailor's brew. I'm looking for more smoke, salt and smoothness as I get older. Tried them all and go back to the bottom to get any taste at all...and live with the harshness to get the taste and bouquet. It seems the more you age this drink the more it tastes like Canadian Rye.
W.V.Williams, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

31st December 2017


So much smoke! Not for the faint of heart. Very nice to finish.

29th December 2017

Still a great whisky

I was fortunate enough to get a bottle of this locally for £20 - must have been an error. I reviewed this positively a couple of years ago and this bottle did not disappoint. Ok, so it's not one of the south-of- the-island peaty monsters but the Islay trademark peat is still there - just more subtly - which isn't always a bad thing. It's very smooth and perilously easy to drink and there's a beautiful floral / lavender finish. Well, I think so anyway.

28th December 2017

Disappointing finish

Feels a bit unbalanced on the palate. Fruity and light initially, then smoke takes over, but the finish feels watered-down. I find Caol Ila 12 to be quite a lot better.

24th December 2017


I’m no scholar nor maker of single malt scotch but I’ve managed to consume my fair share of the finer 1’s and this is by far my worst experience in the 12 yr old or older scotch’s I’ve ever had definitely an aquiared taste

24th December 2017

Wake up Bowmore

Good but lacks and is boring. Bowmore needs to bring this up to a minimum of 45%. Bowmore continues to hurt themselves by bottling at 40%, The "Light Peat" dominates the cask and spirit influences because of the lack of proof. The nose is beautiful but it falls apart on the palate

20th December 2017

Light peat with honey notes and the aroma of the sea.

Best value of all the Islay Single Malts I have tried! Excellent balance.

29th November 2017

My first Islay, my kind of taste.

What a beautiful whisky. My first Islay and I am really, really pleased with it. The smoke is not overpowering, it is a smooth and well rounded product. No extremes but complex enough to want you to go back to it. I got some sweet notes with first tasting, then saltiness with the second one. The empty glass was smelling earthily, then wet peat into a medicinal/ointment like smell. I am very satisfied with the whole experience.

24th November 2017

Good working man’s whisky

The Bowmore 12 is a fine scotch whisky, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to beginners. It’s not as smokey as others of the region and it has a very balanced finish. It’s good to drink neat because it isn’t as harsh on the tongue at the beginning as some I’ve had, possibly due to it only being 40%. I keep this whisky available for when friends come over.

1st November 2017

Wowzzzzzza indeed!!

Do you enjoy the smell of a forest fire? Ever wondered what it'd taste like in liquid form? Well, here you go. Alternatively, if you'd like to save a few bucks, buy yourself a bottle of Liquid Smoke then mix it in with some cheap scotch. To be fair, Glenfiddich India Pale Ale is my usual go-to but thought to venture out for once. I just didn't realize that venturing out would mean I'd find myself in the middle of a California wildfire with a thick layer of soot coating my tongue and cheeks.

29th July 2017


This dram is a little portrayl of what all the Islay bottlings feature on a smaller scale. Unlike the giants of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg, Bowmore holds its own with hints of Islay smoke, peat , sweet and savory palette at a much smaller price. My everyday go to Scotch! (repeat summary title here!)

21st July 2017


Simply put this dram captures a little bit of what all Islay Scotches are noted for:
peat, medicinal notes, smoke, and the sweet and savory long finish. I say a " little bit" because unlike bottlings from the big Islay distilleries ie: Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg...Bowmore 12 is a gentler animal. It is much tamer on the palette and on the wallet. This is the Islay Scotch I would first introduce to friends before a taste of other giants. It is my everyday go to Scotch. An excellent Scotch from the oldest distillary in Islay. They know what they are doing. Slangevar!!!!!!!!

21st July 2017

Always has my heart.

Bowmore was one of my first Islay whiskies. Since then I've been to Islay, spent nights in Bowmore, and tried them all. This is a distinctive Islay whisky, that among my others, always has my heart.

2nd July 2017

An occasional beverage

I like peat monsters, such as the Laphroaig Quarter Cask (and pretty much every other Laphroaig, too). Compared to those, this is sort of a milquetoast Islay. I keep it in my collection because sometimes I don't want such an aggressive, charcoal, burned-house finish. The Bowmore 12 is much more mild while retaining some of the same flavor notes. It's not my everyday drink, but it has a place.

6th June 2017

Great introduction to islay!

This was my first bottle for smoky and peaty whisky! And i really loved islay every since! The smokiness is very light and tasty! I got citrus, sweet and of course light smoke at the end! Now inhave tried Bowmore 15; laga 16 And ardbeg; i am more into the big smoky drams! I would recommend this one to anybody who wants to try smoky whisky!

25th May 2017

Wonderful starter!

Beautiful Scotch, very palatable taste. Wife likes it too!

13th May 2017

Burnt plastic.

Along with Johnnie Walker Red Label, the two worst whiskies I've ever had.
Tastes of burnt plastic, horrible stuff.

I'm guessing these peaty whiskies are an acquired taste. Certainly not for me.

18th April 2017

Peaty Delight

Received this bottle as a gift. Now... it is my favourite Scotch. Slight medicinal flavour typical of Isley Scotch. Sweet apples and caramel notes with a complexity of much more expensive single malts from the region. Caoll ila meets Highland Park here. Awesome dram.

5th April 2017

Splendid with a little splash

This is really is a delicious single malt. Flavors of woody toasted oak with a subtle infusion of peat. Fresh fruit and marzipan in the background are noteworthy. May not be the right for those who dislike a quality peated dram with a rubbery note. They should stick to sweeter, less complex whisky which they can enjoy like a fine port and avoid upset tummies. Cheers!

5th April 2017

Daily drinker, full of flavor

Really good Isley - lots of depth, smoke and peat. Daily drinker for sure!

24th March 2017

Something has burnt...

Very weird tasting single malt.
I feel like I just tried to chew burned rubber soaked in iodine, seriously! Very unique and unforgettable experience, in a negative way. Won't buy this again

8th March 2017

Worth it

A staple in the cabinet. Can be enjoyed by those who are not peat fans. Has a fantastic maritime taste. Sea spray, honey and vanilla with a small peat heat finish. Would definitely recommend but would value the whisky at £25.

4th February 2017

A Pleasant Peaty Malt

Nice beginning and nice finish. No overwhelming smoke or iodine. Long finish. At 40%, a bit thin so avoid water.

17th December 2016


Before drinking this whisky, I didn't really like whisky. Now, I do !!

2nd October 2016


The whiskey that was used to launch of Carrier Queen Elizabeth in 04JUL 2014.

14th June 2016

Very pleased

I'm on a quest to find a peaty Scotch that I enjoy, and this was a wonderful experience. The mild peaty smokiness provides a perfect finish. Will absolutely drink again.

22nd May 2016

I like it

Very pleasantly surprised by this one. I initially bypassed it, choosing numerous other malts, even though it was lower priced and readily available. After I finally got to taste it, I took to it right away. I really like the nose and it has a nicely balanced and interesting mixture of flavours, from arrival through the to the finish. It just so happens to have the right combination for me and Ì
I have since gone back for a second and third bottle. I have Ardbeg, Laphroig, Abelour, Benromach, and other single malts in my collection but, with its lower price and lower pedigree, Bowmore 12 is my favourite. I hope it can maintain its quality and price. If you like a bit of smoke with honey-vanilla and zest, give it a try. It might be the one for you. (PEI Canada)

13th May 2016

Nothing special. Save your money.

The price does not justify this whisky.

8th April 2016

Worth it

My first smokie. First taste confused me a bit but after 2-3 glasses, understood what it was about. After experimenting a bit with other smokies beyond its price range, I decided that this was the thing for me. The only whiskey I buy from duty frees when I'm on the road.

8th April 2016

Love it!

This is one of the best smokies I've tried in it's price range. It's complex in how the flavours unfold and release on the palette... smooth (amber) followed by sweet heather honey complimented by a slight citrus zing then a peaty smokiness that doesn't steal form the prior. The key though is how wonderfully balanced all the notes work together. The overall tone feels deep and complex, just an absolute magical pleasure to drink. I must admit, I have bias to the notes in this one which is in partly why I love it so much, but the overall balanced and complex nature to which it delivers to the palette really brings it home as an absolute winner for me. Really is a love and for any whisky drinker who loves a smoky where the smoke doest steal the show but works in balanced accompaniment with the rest of the notes, it's must try!

29th February 2016

Phenomenal batch

I've drank Bowmore 12 over the course of the last 18 years. Back in the days when Jim McEwan was in charge, (releases from 12 years and over) it was different, more salty, briny, pungent (and it was also different before him). I've had amazing Bowmore 12, 15, 18, I've had pretty normal ones. Then, tonight, I went to the liquor store to buy a bourbon and left with a Bowmore 12, which was on sale. Tell me about incentives. I thought "Oh well, it's going to be ok." But no, I was simply amazed by the highest quality of this batch: dark honey, citrus notes, long with lingering peat smoke, ash, heather, oak, sea salt, leather after-taste, I was like "Wow, WTF did happen with this new batch?" Then I went to read a few comments here to see if there would be such delights recently online, but no. When you read through the comments, some say it's great, some say it's disappointing. I think it's the problem with the "whole" whisky industry: drinkers are not educated to learn batches differ (sometimes greatly) from one another. This is not beer, vodka or gin, this is whisky. No two barrels are alike, the climate changes from year to year, the position of the barrel in the warehouse will influence the taste of whisky, etc. Bottomline: You can't replicate the same exact taste over and over again. Impossible. Yet, we live in a marketing world where folks believe they will get the exact same tasting profile from bottling of different years. This is insanity, ignorance. Look at older pre-1990's Macallan's, long, luxurious, then 2000's were more disappointing, then today they've dropped altogether the age statement and surf on the brand's reputation and they are tripling production. Think whisky taste the same year over year? Think again, you might fall on a stellar batch, like you might fall on a disappointing batch. Like wine or anything vintage, give it a try year over year, you never know. Stuff gets better, stuff gets worse. Unfortunately, we live in the dark ages when it comes to whisky, I don't know which batch of Bowmore 12 I'm drinking tonight, but it's downright amazing, better than the ones I've had last year or before. Eddie MacAffer, current master distiller, is retiring soon (after over 30 years working at the distillery) and expect more change in the taste of Bowmore in the years to come, like any other whisky brands. In the end, tonight, right here, right now, regardless of the low price I've paid, the complexity and balance found here is phenomenal.

20th February 2016

First Islay...

I didn't give a rating because this is my first experience with an Islay. I'm more of a Bourbon fan but I do enjoy single malts...typically those that are finished. I read quite a few posts about which Islay to try first so I wouldn't be consumed by smoke. I'd have to say that this was a great starting point. The smoke/ash is there but it's definitely not overpowering and once I got used to it, I was able to grab some citrus notes. Palate was quite similar to the nose...citrus with a salty smoked ham note. The finish was warm and nice and long. I'm intrigued and will continue to taste this whisky.

16th February 2016


Newer releases are losing the cloying speyside garishness that spoiled them for the past six or so years. They seem to be harkening back to Bowmores old glory somewhat. More smoke and more complexity is what this OB needs,along with three percent more umph. 40 percent makes it a bit flat and simple if you ask me.

15th February 2016

Best Whisky I Ever Drank

My girlfriend bought me a bottle of Glenfiddich and a bottle of Bowmore 12 for Christmas. At first, I thought smoky whiskies weren't my thing, but I was wrong! Although I do not know much about whisky yet, I must say that the Bowmore 12 is the best whisky I have ever drank. I love the sweet and smoky side of this whisky. I can't wait to be done drinking my bottle of Glenfiddich 12 to concentrate a bit more on the Bowmore!

13th February 2016

The Peat! Ah, the peat.

I really like this. New to whiskey tastes. I love [gin] from Islay, The Botanist, and saw this option from Islay. I love Knappogue, from Ireland and this is completely different. I do taste peat with sone floral notes and a bit of bite. Wish bartenders would understand what a really warm glass does to open up these beautiful notes.

8th February 2016

Excellent balance

Lots of subtle flavours combining with enough peat to create a very well-balanced and enjoyable dram. Would buy again.

21st January 2016

Well Rounded

Nose presents a burst of Islay sea breeze and iodine overtones. Not as much citrus fruit and honey as described by the distiller's notes on the box, although such flavours become somewhat noticeable towards the throat. The palate moves away from an initial saltiness towards a honeyed floral state. The whisky then transitions into a long smooth delightfully peaty finish. Overall good value, but not peaty enough for those who enough far more phenolic drams such as Laphroaig and Caol Ila.

17th January 2016

Bowmore 12

Compared to the 18 year this is a little bit rough but for the price? Yes please!
I've tasted both 12 year, 15 darkest and the 18 year old. This dram takes the 2nd place.

5th January 2016


Great wee dram! Could take on any other single malt from Islay... Love how it moves from sweet to smoke.

1st January 2016

Can't make up its mind

For me, the Bowmore 12 doesn't seem to be able to make up its mind what it wants to be. It doesn't know if it wants to be a peaty Islay or a Speyside. If it were more lightly peated, the sweet, honeyed citrus notes wouldn't be overshadowed, and if it were more highly peated, the background sweetness would be a nicer contrast. Nest time I want some of this I'll mix a little Glenlivet 12 with some Laph 10.

26th December 2015

Very disappointing

Big disappointment.
Not really smokey or peaty. Nose very sweet reminding low quality spirits - honey?maybe. somebody said paraffin? Palate is were the peat and smoke comes in but it is overwhelmed by the excessive sweetnesess. Very lite and fast vanishing finish.
I completely disliked this whiskey especially the nose. I actually tried to sip it with my nose closed.
As I wright this I switched to laphroig 10 and my god, these two dwell in different universes I honestly do not understand how someone can mention them in the same sentence.

25th December 2015

Used to be much better.

This dram was one of the best about 3-4 years ago ... what happened? It used to have a super long iodine finish ... now it is just average ... something has changed. Bowmore better get this sorted ... loyal customers are noticing.

23rd December 2015


Just doesn't compare to a typical Islay. Less of everything. Sadly. Likely makes a good introduction to Islay, but why not just jump into the pool?

11th December 2015

Definitely interesting

This one is a bit hard for me to pin down. It's got a bonfire nose and initial taste, but that quickly fades into a smoother, only somewhat smokey but overall pleasant finish. The less time between sips the quicker this occurs. It's a fun one, but I don't know that I'll be buying another bottle any time soon.

4th December 2015

Sorcery and alchemy

I can't figure this whisky out. On my first pour, I would have described the flavor as "stagnant seawater and varnish, with an overpowering hint of sweatsock." I am a fan of Islay Whisky, but I put this bottle away and vowed not to allow it near my lips again.
A few short weeks later, I was persuaded to try it again. The second tasting was completely different - a balanced honey sweetness, a bit oily but not unpleasant, and that lovely smoky finish.
A third taste, and even more new flavors were in the mix - butterscotch and citrus - and oddly, the "sweatsock" was back again, too, although not as overpowering.
Tasted again, and salty and sweet flavors come to the fore, followed by smoke.

This bottle of Bowmore 12 YO may be the most mystifying and thoroughly entertaining bottle of whisky I've ever had.

25th November 2015

My new favorite

Discovered Islay single malts about a year ago. Absolutely love the Bowmore 12. 2 oz every night whether I need it or not, with a small splash of water. Dave in Nova Scotia

22nd November 2015

Smoked apple juice

Smoked apple juice theme seems to be Bowmore trademark. Too light on palate and seriously underpowered at 40 %. I like Islay malts, but this one doesn't impress me.

15th September 2015

Great Islay, best for price

If this was from a fancy name distillery, it would be rated much higher. Maybe some of the fancier name products are better. Maybe. But almost certainly not for the price.

20th August 2015

Tastes more like parrafin to me!!!

I usually like whiskey but this brand is terrible!!! I have asked my husband wether it could be a bad batch!!!!

19th June 2015

Balanced and well priced - Beautiful

What I most like about this whisky is the quality of the spirit. Beneath the soft smoke you have the perfect coastal whisky (briney, citrusy, salty) with the addition of some sherry character. Nice and long ending, no bitterness. I would love to find a whisky like this but without smoke. I tried Old Pulteney and I like it but its different.

I know Bowmore did get a good amount of flak in the past for uneven quality but I find this one superb for the price.

9th June 2015

tasting notes are spot on

No water, just neat. I like bestbthatvthere is no 2nd flavor sm like this.

5th May 2015

Great buy

So I bought this at my local liquor store the other day because they had run out of port charlotte and actually turned out to be a good buy. not as smoky as id hoped but still satisfies my need for peat with some nice honey citrus and vanilla notes as well as has that sea salt I love. All in all not bad would probably buy this again once I have tried everything I can.

21st April 2015

Nice for beginners

This is a Islay scotch that isn't quite an Islay scotch... It's not that peaty, it's rather sweet and it's surprisingly smooth at 40%, in fact, it's too smooth. So don't add water, it will kill your drink. Nose is a bit smokey, a pit peat,a bit citric too. Mouthfeel is very silky, it misses punch a bit, smoke, salt, lemon is there. I recon this is a good one to use at a (beginners) tasting event and put it after the Speysides but before the big Islay guns. Finish is rather short, but pretty ok for a young one. It's no match for the almost double priced 15 yo Bowmore, but at this price range this is a top ten finish.

28th February 2015

Best smokey scotch for the price.

You like smoke and peat? This one is really good. No medicinal note, small hint of fruit. Bold and smoky scotch. One of my favorite, right behind Lagavulin 12.

23rd February 2015

Its good

I have had the Bowmore 12, 15 and 18 and they are all good. Laphroaig or a Lagavulin good? No of course not. But this is definitely an Islay Single Malt you should have if you like Peated Whisky. I actually like Bowmore 12 quite a lot and for the price it is well worth it. Where I live Laphroaig Quarter Cask is ten dollars more expensive and 6 out of 10 times I would go with Laphroaig...but that still means that 4 out of 10 times I would get Bowmore.

19th February 2015

Best Islay Buy?

I hadn't had this malt in my cupboard for a while so I thought it was time for a re-acquaintance - and I'm really glad I did. I really enjoyed the more subtle fruit and smokiness than some other more heavily peated Islay malts I've been drinking lately AND there was a lovely floral note in the finish - something like lavender or the old parma violets taste - if that makes sense. Also, at just under £30 for a 12y0 Islay - is this the best Islay buy? The only thing that would improve it is if it were a higher proof and non-chillfiltered - but then, of course, the cost would go up.

18th February 2015

Not a Favorite Islay

I should acknowledge for those that may not know, that Bunnahabhain is the exception to the rule for the traditionally peated Islay whiskies.

16th February 2015

Not a Favorite Islay

Smooth, sweet, and a touch of peat. I enjoy 'coastal' notes - salt and cold smoke - but the complex nose and the smooth palate weren't enough to overcome the underlying base of a lingering antiseptic / iodine taste and smell. I enjoyed sampling this and will try the Bowmore 15 next, but for now if I want a 12 year Islay, its got to be Bunnahabhain!

13th February 2015

Not a huge fan

Love Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Caol Ila, and Lagavulin. Bowmore 12? No so much. I couldn't believe how quickly the taste fades from the tongue. If you love a peaty Islay, skip Bowmore and stick with the Islay powerhouses.

3rd February 2015

dont miss out because its not a showbiz whisky

Id agree with the commenter who talks about blind tasting. I bought a bottle of bowmore mainly so i could complete my sampling of all Islay distilleries, it was bottom of the list and almost felt like i was buying it for the sake of it. I was surprised from the first whiff of the nose. Im pretty sure if this were from one of the big name distilleries everyone would claim it was the finest scotch you could get. Wonderful, well balanced, consistent and with a really solid offering from nose right through to the excellent finish. Delicious indeed a must try in my book

8th January 2015

Great Value

As other reviewers have said, Bowmore 12 Year Old offers one of the best values on the market. Gentle smoke and peat and a whiff of fresh sea air, honey, and vanilla flavours make for a very pleasant dram. There is also a slight metallic taste that, for me, is oddly appealing (it's rather subtle). I am from a coastal region of Canada but have been living far, far away from the ocean for several years now, and this drink always brings me home.

4th January 2015

Standard for the sport

This is my go to dram.Having often been enticed by the charms of others,I find myself frequently returning to that warm enbrace of a slightly hefty,buxome well known friend. Enjoy.

3rd January 2015

Very Good

I love Scotch and I have almost 20 bottles in my collection. I especially enjoy the Islay Scotchs and so I thought I would buy a bottle of Bowmore. I was pleasantly surprised how smooth this smokey whiskey was. The peat levels are around 25 ppm, thus I could definitely taste the peat. I invited some scotch friends over to take a blind taste test of some of my scotchs to see everyone's favorite. In the taste test was Laphroig 10, Highland Park 12, Talisker 10, Ardbeg 10, Ardmore, Macallan 12, Johnny Walker Double Black, and Oban. Everyone had Bowmore in the top 3 of these powerhouse scotchs. I then showed them that Bowmore was one of the least expensive ones of the bunch. It then started to taste better.

27th December 2014

Special Treat

My December 5 advent calendar dram. What a great treat. One of my all time favorites from the Islands. Lovely smoke flavor.

6th December 2014

Smoke gets in your eyes

Day 5 of the Advent calendar and we get the first properly peaty single. On the nose it's strong peat and woodsmoke, with an undercurrent of something almost antiseptic but some sweetness and fruit as well.

I'm not a fan of peat and this is about as much as I want in a whisky. However although only the standard 40% it lacks smoothness and feels much stronger and very raw.

In the mouth the peat and smoke continue but struggle to get past the alcohol. When it does die down the it blends into leather and there is an acrid tail reminiscent of TCP antiseptic again. A splash of water helps calm the alcohol but leaves the same acrid tail.

Peat lovers will probably like it a lot more than I do. It hasn't converted me I'm afraid.

5th December 2014

Gluten Free

Someone was asking about wether this is Gluten free. Yes it is. Anything that is distilled such as whisky, despite being made from grain destroys the protein that affects us so you are safe to drink and enjoy! I just wish real ale was too!

5th December 2014


Good value. Smokey but not excessively so. A distinct metallic taste from the geology of the water source to the the distillery. Worth a try.

5th December 2014

Quite smooth

Tried this a few weeks ago , Quite smooth for a single malt,Peppery taste, slightly citrusy, Get a sense of honey as well,Perfect for the winter sat round the fire with a cuban cigar

5th December 2014

Very surprised

I have never been a scotch\whiskey drinker. (I do like a good tequila, like Don Julio 1942) but all beer and wine for me…I am really a huge wine fan…but looking to try new things. Store was having a sale and I picked this bottle up. Very delicious. Just had it neat. The nose was quite powerful at first, but it was so smooth and tasty. Surprised how much the nose and the flavor are different to me. This bottle may have just made me become a scotch drinker too.

4th December 2014

smoke gets in your eyes.

If you're heavily into Smokey whisky (and I mean heavily) this might be up your alley. I found it quite overpowering but mellows slightly with a wee drop of water.

3rd December 2014

Good but not great.

I'm a Highland Park 12 lover and the store I visited (out or town) did not have the HP, so I thought I would try this. Always wanted to try the Bowmore 12. Well, it's good, but not great. I enjoy it, but don't love it. As one reviewer said, if you're looking for something to spend the evening with, its uneventful.
Still . . . a good whisky for the money.

3rd November 2014

second favorite Islay

Very good but only second to Lagavulin 16 years old for me. Smooth for a single malt.

23rd October 2014

Deserves more stars

I was long put off by the relatively low score this whisky has here. But since it was on sale for a very low campaign price in our local supermarket, I just had to buy it. And honestly, I don't really understand the modest reviews this whisky is often getting. Sure, I can think of a handful of Islay whiskies that are better, but all in all, and especially for those loving a bit of peat in their whisky, this is a very good dram! The price performance is among the best, and it is very-very easily drinkable. And you need those in your cabinet. Something that you would just like to enjoy and not think too much about. So I wouldn't be surprised if I will always find a bottle of Bowmore 12 in my store from now on. Maybe it has to do with the fact that this was my first Islay in 10 months and I had forgotten the taste of peat, but who cares really :) Any whisky that makes you feel like coming home again deserves a clap!

3rd October 2014

Duke, Earl, General Admiral ...

Pretty damn good and it doesn't give you a headache or hangover, providing you don't drink more than 700mL in a 12-hour period.

24th September 2014


Its an alright dram. Nothing special, but fair for the price. I found the finish to be very drying, besides that I agree with the MoM-chaps. I didn't hate this, just would go for something else in the future like a Talisker. Maybe I just like them sweet and salty. CM

12th September 2014


Mmm it doesn't get much better than this.

8th August 2014


If you're new to Islays, this might be a good dram to try because it is simple and not strong on the mouthfeel. That said, if you are looking for a dram to spend some time with, I find it pretty uneventful. The nose is great, savory peat and sweet fruits with spices. And if you let it sit in its glass for ten minutes the flavors do come alive a bit more as the peat recedes. But the flavors are still weakened by the processing, making it a frustrating experience. At 46%, non-chill-filtered, and reduced caramel it would be a fantastic dram.

20th June 2014

not that impressed

I do like the nose and finish but found on the palate it was too sweet for me. I've never been a sweet tooth so was a shock to my system. Tasted of burnt caramel to me.

5th June 2014

Fantastic and out even performs more expensive expressions

Honestly, I adore Bowmore. It does have a strong peat taste but this is blended with a really really nice honey and lemon taste. It is so easy to drink and for me, a wiff of an empty glass is almost as pleasant as the drink itself.

10th March 2014

My first Islay.

I reviewed and reviewed then reviewed some more.

This had decent reviews and for the price I must say not bad.

You can definitly taste the quality and if there's a better islay scotch at a better price (39.99) then id like to know.

23rd January 2014

This is my Favorite Islay

This is just right for me. The balance is right and it is very well made.

Johnny Norfolk

18th January 2014

Cured my cough

Never tasted anything so wonderful - given to me as a gift - and was the perfect antidote for my cold. Slept like a baby. P.S. Any other licquor gives me "crazy legs" and scotch is so pure - it never happens.

12th January 2014

Gluten free whisky

All whisky is gluten free - during distillation the gluten are left behind while the alcohol (and some vapours that give the whisky a nice flavour) passes through. So you don't have to worry if you are sensitive to gluten!

31st December 2013

Love this stuff.

Light peat, heavy smoke. Not subtle, just yummy. Perfect when the wife or the law won't let you light up a good cigar. Thank you God, for Islay.

27th December 2013

Amazing... And Gluten Info

This is one of my favorites. definitely the best scotch at this price range and probably up to double the price. very smooth and just the right and of smoke to sip on over a long period of time. am trying to find another that I can add to my "goto" list but without luck so far. treat yourself and try this.
Gluten: I am a Coeliac and extremely sensitive to the tiniest gluten contamination. Whiskey and other spirits do not contain gluten as the Gluten protein can not cross the distillation process, however it is possible for cross contamination in the aging process through barrels etc which is a long story. I love scotch and after many many different ones have only once or twice been contaminated and even then it could possibly have been something else. I can tell you I drink this particular Bowmore ever couple of weeks and have never been contaminated so I can vouch for it being safe.

14th December 2013

I like this.

Bowmore was the first Islay malt I tried and I am still very fond of it. The perfume aroma of the past has now gone and been replaced by toffee but the beautiful Bowmore smoke remains. Not at all complex but a lovely dram just the same. Toffee and smoke! Great.

11th December 2013

Glass of Bowmore at the bar

as we speak I'm sitting at a bar sipping a glass of bowmore. it reminds me of burnt urine. I love smokey flavor in my whisky but this is not good. I well maybe il get laid tonight and if this flavor ever subsides I'll order a glass of something else

17th November 2013

Very Bowmore

Bowmore has a unique style and if you like it, you will like this. Personally, it's not my favourite among the Islay whiskys, but that's not saying it's poor, just that it's different to most other malts on the island.

8th November 2013

Nice and mild Islay

Got my first bottle today and it's a nice sip. I am used to Laphroaig and Ardbeg so this Bowmore is a little too tame for me. It lacks the 'taste-explosion' what you would expect from an Islay whisky, but once you've adjusted your expectations, it's a really enjoyable drink. Wonderful nose: toffee, fruity and very mild peat and smoke. Taste wise, oak, licorice, peat, sweet malt and some soft fruits but very (too?) mild. Medium long finish with slightly bitter marmalade taste.

7th November 2013

Perfume and ash nailed it.

I couldn't drink it, just opened the bottle and after several tries neat, added touch of water and finally poured it back in the bottle. Aberlour has spoiled me.

22nd October 2013

Perfume and ash

Take your favorite perfume and and spray it in your mouth, then set a match on fire, let it burn out, then eat the burnt match. Then you have an equal taste

14th October 2013

Very Well Made.

This is just so good, not the most well known and not as heavy taste and all the beter for it. You will not find better at the price. I strongly recomend it and hope it is to your taste.

Johnny Norfolk.

12th October 2013

Excellent - has to be the 'Rolex' of all 12 yo whiskies

Smooth yet complex, mild yet fiery. Lovely stuff!!

11th October 2013


True its made from Barley but my understanding is that the distillation process denudes the gluten protein, which is not the case with fermentation to produce Beer; which does contain gluten. So Chaps I think you need to do more homework. Why not ask the distilleries to clarify this issue and have their Whisky tested for Gluten so it can be categorically stated. That would be a great service to the gluten intolerant and also business wise.

10th October 2013

ok, but much prefer the 15yo Darkest expression of bowmore

Nose: Flowers/Perfume Citrus Seaweed? Misty Smoke
Taste: Smoke, perfume/soapy
Finsish: Smoke, seasalt, citrus

Overall: an ok whisky, soapy at first but lessens when the taste mixes with the long finish. so first sip not good. 2nd and the rest ok. I much prefer the 15yo Darkest of Bowmore

10th October 2013

Not my favourite

I much prefer a Glenfarclas

15th September 2013


Hi there! Unfortunately, as whisky is made with barley, it cannot be classified as gluten free. --The Chaps at Master of Malt

13th September 2013


hey is this gluten free whisky ?

12th September 2013

my standard, holds it's own.

My kitchen will always require a bowmore more 12!

23rd August 2013

must give it a second chance -

The single bottle of Bowmore 12 I've ever tried tasted rather like the distillery burned down, and some charred casks were recovered from the wreckage - heavy smoke, but of unpleasant flavor, as if wood smoke not peat smoke had been used. But then, single malts are often quite varied in their flavors (the standard Lagavulin purchased in Canada and Italy tasted like completely different whiskys, one bourbon/smoked fish and the other huge persistent phenolics) - so I'd be willing to try Bowmore again, and see if the one was an anomaly, or even undeveloped taste on my part

23rd August 2013

bowmore yes please

At this cost what did you expect. This is just a nice wee dram. In fact it is one you will ask for again I'm sure of that. Give it a go.

4th July 2013

good, but...

its a good scotch, good value, and i'll re-visit it in future no doubt but hard for me to get enthused now ive tasted ardbeg & lagavulin im afraid, as these two are what I want from islay whisky.

5th June 2013

quanto e esse whisky

quanto e esse whisky

21st May 2013


The lemon is what gives t his whiskey its finish. For the price you cannot go wrong.

20th April 2013

Good Stuff

I must say I get great pleasure sipping on this whiskey while looking at the sun set.

20th April 2013


Very tasty Islay whisky. A wide palate and nice complexity. It's a bit underrated. A perfectly balanced dram.

10th February 2013

Best quality / price ratio

This is a reference in taste, essence and overall character. From my limited experience of tastings, the best quality for price. Especially balanced taste and aftermath. Each glass offers novel developments in tastes.

6th October 2012


while there are some good qualities with the whisky, it tastes as if it were aged in old wood, as there is a lack of freshness, also bringing it to a higher proof would help the flavors, as this tastes over diluted

4th October 2012

Very good

This is a great introduction to the Islay style - the smoke is there but develops subtly and doesn't overpower the other flavours. However, the 12 year-old Enigma is even better (look out for it in Duty Free shops).

22nd June 2012

Top value

Bowmore is the range that gives you the peat flavors without them overwhelming all others. The 12 is a great daily dram, but the older ones get progressively better, with the peat evolving delightfully.

17th February 2012

5 stars!

Excellent balance between dryness, sweetness, peat and smoke. After a while the taste becomes very oily and dry. Like it! It's perfect everyday Islay dram.
PS: Caramel added, but it does not matter for me.

26th April 2011

very good

my regular sipping choice, great value and great taste not too peaty not too smokey not too sweat with a good nose to it and with a great price, can't go wrong here.

12th March 2011

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