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Bowmore 12 Year Old

(70cl, 40.0%)
Bowmore 12 Year Old

Awards for Bowmore 12

Silver Outstanding
Silver Outstanding

Scotch Single Malt - Islay - 2014

International Wine & Spirit Competition


Single Malt Scotch - to 12 Yrs - 2013

San Francisco World Spirits Competition


Scotch Single Malt - Islay - 2013

International Wine & Spirit Competition

Bowmore 12 Details


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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.
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Bowmore 12 (3cl Sample)
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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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    User Reviews of the Bowmore 12 Year Old

    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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