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Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest

(70cl, 43%)

Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest
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5 different drams

Bowmore Darkest 15 Bottling Note

A 15 year old released in January of 2007 from the legendary Bowmore distillery in Islay. This single malt has enjoyed maturation in Oloroso sherry casks.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Dark and punchy. Sherry notes, juicy Corinth raisins. Spices. Creamy, mochaccino, sweet dates.

Palate: Rich, woody, pine oil. Syrupy. Lovely, creamy toffee and malt. Smoky.

Finish: Spicy, toffee, sherry, barley.

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User Reviews of the Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest

Always good

It may not exactly be a masterpiece, but Darkest is a good, reliable, solid single malt which can be found anywhere in the world.

To me, it possesses a little more character than the standard Bowmore, having a sweet entry, and a surprising, very subtle coffee-chocolate like finish. Its balance sets it apart from other standard offerings, making it perhaps a good entry offering for those not fond of being kicked in the face by peatiness.

15th April 2017

Great whiskey

This whiskey is simply delicious. I disagree with the review below saying it is flat on the palate - I found the exact opposite to be true, very complex flavours for me, but everyone is different. I normally drink Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Caol Ila, but this is going to be a permanent fixture on my shelf from now on.

28th December 2016

Great whiskey.

This whiskey is simply delicious. I disagree with the review below saying it is flat on the palate - I found the exact opposite to be true, very complex flavours for me, but everyone is different. I normally drink Ardbeg, laphroaig and caol ila, but this is going to be a permanent fixture on my shelf from now on.

28th December 2016

A superb whisky and great example of a sherry finish that is complimented by a little peat smoke

Presentation: The bottle has squarer sides and shoulders to your typical whisky bottle and the clear glass allows the natural deep colour of the whisky to star. The label is nothing fancy with some info about the distillery embossed into the glass beneath it. It is hard to confuse a Bowmore bottle for any other.

Appearance: Deep copper orange in colour, a dead giveaway of the long sherry cask finish. No need to add caramel colouring, but it is no doubt chill-filtered to preserve a clear finish.

Aroma: There is a little smoke, but not as much as you would expect from a peated Islay malt or even a younger Bowmore. Strong sherry notes and accompanying aromas of holiday desserts like Christmas pudding, cream, raisins and bitter dark chocolate.

Flavour: A little spice with well-integrated smoke. The peat does not overpower the whisky but instead blends expertly with the sherry flavours to create a smooth pleasant taste.

Finish: Long, with fading spice.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, this is a superb whisky and great example of a sherry finish that is complimented by a little peat smoke rather than being overpowered by it. As with most sherried whiskies, the Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest is a great way to finish the day and the modest 43% ABV makes it quite palatable without dilution for the majority of drinkers.


27th October 2016

Changed but still good

I recently reviewed this whisky since my last tasting in 2014. Before it was rather chewy and chocolately. I do find the peat is still there and quite dominant but the finish is rather thin now. I would definitely still buy it and recommend but it has been downgraded.

22nd October 2016

So many flavours

This is one of my favourite dark whiskies. Smells like an oakwood fire, palate is sweet sherry followed by a woody smoke. Tastes like a warm wood fire in my parents rural Scottish house. Divine.

18th September 2016

Interesting aromas, a bit flat on the palate

It's fun to taste this whisky, it has a complex nose that smells consistently of spicy wood. Its a soft pepper wood smell with some smoke that includes a bit of a syrupy sticky sweetness which at times reminded of toasted marshmallow. As I finished the glass I smelled very distinct aromas of burnt paper. So an interesting nose, but the palate was watery, in terms of taste I give it a 6, very smooth (esp. for a 15yo), not offensive in anyway, but not wholly appetizing either. Finish was a little thin, some chocolate, smoke, stickiness.

10th September 2016

It's personal!

I like it! Reading the reviews only serves to prove that Scotch whisky is totally, completely, utterly a personal thing. One man's meat, blah blah. And any suggestion that because you particularly love one whisky, or even one area, that anything else is somehow inferior is just risible. Your opinions are just that - opinions. To say that single malt X is not as good as single malt Y because...... Prefix it with "In my opinion" and we'll all be more willing to listen! I really do appreciate those reviews that outline the qualities and unique aspects of each whisky, but for someone to tell me that something is inferior to something else just because he or she doesn't like it, well, a bit arrogant!

11th August 2016

Thick and Thin

lots of flavour but peters out too quickly...not my cup of tea - Mifune (collingwood)

3rd July 2016

Compared favourably to Lagavulin Distillers Edition

Lagavulin Distillers Edition is one of my favourite whiskies. This is a very similar dram at £20 less, so outstanding value. Not exactly the same, I'd say the sherry in this is a bit more forward, and with a little less medicinal peaty / iodine tang. But very similar and equally enjoyable in its own right.

5th May 2016

Lovely dram

Sweet and Bowmore smoky. Lovely

25th March 2016


Best I've tried. Like I just tasted the earth of the old country.

28th February 2016

Needs less Sherry

It's nice but let's not forget that dark color sells whisky ... so i understand it from a marketing perspective. 'd love to see Bowmore take leadership on Islay for a back to the basics approach ... less sherry ... and no artificial colorings on islay!!! ... love to see a "Seaside offering" with max iodine.

This is a good whisky ... but they are trying too hard for the color from the sherry casks.

14th January 2016

Nah, not a good bowmore.

A disappointment!
After tasting both 12 and 18 I gotta say both of them are better then this. I think this one have more peat, which I like but I don't think the peat fits with the other tastes of this whiskey..

Tyvärr den sämsta whiskyn utav Bowmore jag smakat då dess starka röksmak inte går ihop med dess andra smaker, ingen nödvändigtvis dålig whisky men alldeles för dyr. Luktar väldigt gott för övrigt, så lite lurad blir man allt.

5th January 2016

Way too sweetened

Total disappointment after even Laphroaig 12.

5th January 2016

Pretty Good Dram.

Toffee, Raisins and Peat and Salted Butter ... in that order. I wish the finish was longer and with more iodine like the 12 yr. Personal preference but, i like the oily and iodine and medicinal. For a 15 i expected more wow. Reminds me a little of a Macallan 12 with Peat.

23rd December 2015

sooooo underated.

If you like to keep an open mind on different drams this will not disappoint, if your a islay person, or a speyside guy, even a highland or lowland kinda person it offers something to everybody mentioned. is it an ardbeg? no, is it a glenfarclas? no, is it a ancnoc 16? no, my point being is that everybody has their one trick ponies that they go to because they do exactly what is stated on the tin, what they are known for. but if you want to have something that can do all of them and do it reasonably decent then this is it. it has your peat and smoke, it has fruit sweetness and sherry, it has malt and oak, everything really to please all and does it good. an all round good jack of all trades. lovely...

21st December 2015

From the Lagavulin to the Bowmore 15 Darkest. Better than i expected...

I have been drinking the Lagavulin 16 for a while now and I found it difficult to appreciate another peated whisky as I liked the Lagavulin. but I finally found something comparable. I cant say its "better", but it's definitely "comparable". Lagavulin as the "explosive peated BBQ sauce punch" and the Bowmore Darkest as a "sweeter sauce" effect on the pallet. Overall, its true that there is still a gap of quality and complexity between these two bottles but its still a cheaper and sweeter version of the Lagavulin. And to be honest, i found that Lagavulin quality is dropping over past years... which is the opposite of Bowmore. In conclusion, you wont throw your Lagavulin away for this one but its worth giving it a try. And depending of what you are looking for (powerful or sweeter), you should probably appreciate this bottle.

17th October 2015

Easy to Love...

Superb balance,well, maybe erring alittle on the sweet side. A looooong finish with hints of sea salt and toffee."Slightly" less oily than Lagavulin and less money!My new house whiskey!

16th September 2015

It is fun to feel dirty!

In response to "The Whore of Islay"; it is true this one is considerably sweeter than most Islays, but my cabinet has space for many different whiskies. Sometimes I want it dry, peaty, and smoky. Sometimes I want it full and sweet to swirl and sip. If I should feel dirty about buying this delightful whisky then let it be so! Sometimes it is fun to feel dirty!

16th April 2015

Well Balanced

Wonderfully sherried and perfectly smoked, smooth from start to finish!

From a neat pour the nose lends beautiful peat smoke, wet earth, campfire ash, and salty coastal notes. After it opened up, sweeter notes like pumpkin pie and golden raisins came thru. The palate is silky, with hints of salted butter, wood, and smoke. The finish is relatively short, but it is best described as spiced caramel with a wonderful transition back to the coastal saltiness and smoke.

I didn't care for the Bowmore 12 as it's heavy iodine, antiseptic, sterile notes were too much for me. However, while some may disagree, the longer aging and sherry casks makes this a well-balanced peated Islay malt.

If you're not into heavy peat and prefer more sherry notes, this is the perfect way to test the waters. Grab a sample from the chaps at Master of Malt!

26th February 2015

The Whore of Islay

This isn't bad, but for an Islay, it's totally an Islay dressed up in a sherry finish, with distillers suppressing her smokey origins. It's actually not bad as a drink for those who aren't particular, but for those who care, you should feel a little dirty buying this one.

23rd February 2015


The Sherry Cask finish makes this the best of the Bowmore collection.

23rd January 2015

Smoky sweet

Perfect blend of smoke and sweet. A very smooth whisky. Seamless transition from the nose to palate, finishing with a spicy kick at the end.

25th December 2014

Winter Cracker !

Sherried, smoked- drenched treacle toffee. Superb autumn & winter whisky. Good match for Lagavulin 16. Joint top-of-the-tree for sherried Islay- whiskies.

1st November 2014

Moorish whisky

great whisky lovely sumptuous moorish notes

15th October 2014

Go To

Nose of lush fruit,raisin, rum and heath bars. SHERRY, citrus and wood spices come through with peat embers that linger on the finish. How could you not appreciate this?

27th September 2014


One cannot in any way compare this with Lagavulin. This is basically one more boring, overpriced whiskey. Move on.

21st August 2014

Fantastic value

For the price this one is fantastic.

9th August 2014

Average Whisky

I was disappointed after reading the reviews on this. Weak spices and lacked the oily/ syrup finish described.
At this price far too pricey. There is a mild sulphur after taste , average quality which should be reflected in the price.

7th July 2014

Not Bad - Pricey

Not a bad whisky, but for this price, I think there a better drams out there. Unless you really love that unique Bowmore character, get a sample and move on.

30th April 2014

Good enough

I was expecting a bit more from this compared to other smoked whisky of Islay.
However still stands quite good to me.

19th March 2014

Good whisky

Completly awsome compared to the Bowmore 12 yo, which is horrible

14th November 2013

Agreed - Bowmore 15 is comparable to Lagavulin 16

Whereas Bowmore 15 will not necessarily make your eyes water upon first swill like Lagavulin with its almost overly robust peaty taste, it (Bowmore) does deliver a smoother, more velvet-like, slower after-burn that lingers on the palate. I thoroughly enjoy the rough-hewn experience of Lagavulin in the winter - nothing else warms and satisfies like it. I enjoy it and any good Islay Single Malt for the same reasons my wife and I enjoy a very hardy Cabernet - a libation can't be too robust given a chill in the air. That said, I've grown weary of chasing the increasingly over-bid price of Lagavulin 16 and the abject mishandling of the supply by the distillery (which was probably by design to drive-up the pricing). So, following the counsel of the Dining Room Manager at my club, I tried Bowmore 15 as a viable substitute-come-rival of Lagavulin - AND, I've not been disappointed. It's a good Islay Single Malt worth the modest increase in price. And as with most Single Malts, it couples well with a good cigar. Cheers!

7th October 2013

Cheaper and Comparable to Lagavulin

Sick of spending 100.00 plus on bottles of Lagavulin, try Bowmore Darkest... I was looking for a cheaper alternative and I want to tell you... This really gives the more expensive Lagavulin 16 a run for its money... Depending on your taste it's as good or better.. definitely a smoother finish...You just can't go wrong here..

24th September 2013

Bowmore 15

My first impression of this was not great as I thought the sherry character was quite aggressive but now I've familiarised myself with it I think this is a superb whisky. There is plenty of smoke up front then the wonderfully rich body takes over, then the smoke returns for the finish, it’s quite unlike anything I've had before. Huge flavour and complexity, brilliant.

6th September 2013

Another substandard Bowmore

The notorious smoked apple juice theme meets sickeningly sweet sherried malt. What a horror show! I'll stay with other Islay malts.

5th August 2013

Complex; Deep

Smoking cedar, plum, and clove. The aroma adds very dark chocolate candy, with toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon. The palate adds sour cherry. A very complex melange that delights the senses, especially at cooler temperature.

4th August 2013

An over complicated but well tasty firestorm.

That's right; a spice and fiery number until the flames calm down to singed orange peel, dense fruitcake and burned bonfire toffee. A dangerous night on a Scottish hillside bursts with flames of bracken. Not to be trifled with. Until the clinkers cool, ash and spread with molasses, ending as currants coated with caramel.

30th May 2013

Not bad

Nice smoked and woody whisky. I also love the colour a lot.
Although I find it a little to pricy for what it is.

13th April 2011

another bowmore classic


11th December 2010


Just one thing to say...just lovely!

7th September 2010

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