Bowmore 12-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
12 years old
40.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Age Statement in Square
Added on
17 Sep 2012 10:25 am

Average value

€ 38.12

51 × in wishlist

1148 × member ratings

3140 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Bowmore 12-year-old

167 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 80.32 points

  1. Slàinte Mhath scored this whisky 79 points Super Administrator

    Of all Islay distilleries, Bowmore is the oldest but arguably the most uninteresting. Their 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 more restrained and yet somewhat unique. Sweet spices, dried fruits and herbal notes lead to a rather dry finish with hints of bitter chocolate. This whisky might be worth a try but it lacks intrinsic quality.

    RATING: 3.0/5.0 stars ≙ 79 pts → AVERAGE
    • Nose
      79 79
    • Taste
      80 80
    • Finish
      78 78

  2. wbarchive_875995 did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    Cool, rather delicate, with the aroma of burnt aspen wood chips, apple peel, dried fruits with pepper and black tea, taste with bitterness with nuances of bitterly burnt branches, prunes and tightly brewed tea, medium-long finish, malt-smoky with black pepper.
    Not very interesting, but honest basic malt from Bomor. Although he is only 12, but let him breathe well, the aroma is quite closed.

    RATING: 82pts - [n21, t20, f20, b21] → | 80-82: Ordinary |

  3. Danksy scored this whisky 70 points Member Senior

    Quite possibly the worst named and age-stated Islay single malt out there.
    • Nose
      Extinguished campfire, sour salt, flattened citrus, faded vanilla, wet cardboard. Malt husks!
    • Taste
      Exactly the same as the nose, plus a deceptive hint of heavily spent sherry that disappears as soon as you think you've found it. You think it's there, but it's not really there at all.
    • Finish
      Medium, spicy, charred barrel, hints of sherry. This is actually the best part of the whole experience. Not a bad finish.

      Final thoughts: in a blind tasting I would never guess this is an Islay. This smells and tastes like one of those no-name releases from some island they won't tell you about, because they're too ashamed to admit they dug this stuff up in an abandoned warehouse that nobody wanted anymore.
      Given this is actually an official bottling of a 12-year-old single malt from Islay, this is simply a complete disaster and even an embarrassment - yes, I'm going that far with this! Have you tried McClelland's Islay? This here is the same thing, except it's 12 years old. Did you know that Bowmore actually produces McClelland's Islay? Which is all you should need to understand that they no longer care about their reputation. They just want to spend less and sell more. A real shame to see an Islay distillery fall this low.
      If you're wondering, my bottling is from 31.08.21. I was curious if I got a bad batch or something, so I did some research and found an interesting review of Bowmore's 12, 15 and 18 single malts on Malt Review, back from August 2020. Unsurprisingly, they were all rated 3/10. Shame!

  4. HammerHead scored this whisky 79 points Connoisseur

    First Bowmore 12 I've had in probably 10 years. As I was only just exploring beyond standard expressions at the time this was a pretty solid experience back then.
    Currently I find this somewhat underwhelming and forgettable. It smells and tastes of a wet extinguished camp fire. Also a sour note (not citrussy but something fermenting). A short charcoaly finish, that's about it. Had a Laproaig 10 afterwards and although that's also bottled at a mere 40%, it's definitely more enthralling.
    • Nose
      79 79
    • Taste
      80 80
    • Finish
      78 78

  5. Georges scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Peat smoke, coastal notes, ashy, gay, heather, fruity (oranges, lemons), floral notes
    • Taste
      Peat smoke, honey, vanilla, seasalt, sweet
    • Finish
      Medium long, smoky, grassy, ashy, citrus

  6. erwinnlim scored this whisky 78 points Expert Senior

    This whisky has a good initial impression on the nose, but disappoints on the palate. Good entry level Islay though. Value (£25) : 8/10
    • Nose
      A light slightly medicinal peat note initially. From there some light fruits appear, citrus and pears. Some vanilla sweetness
    • Taste
      Caramel sweetness and citrus fruits with a more earthy peat note on the palate. Some pepper spice from the oak and some bitter coffee. Weaker than I would have expected from the nose
    • Finish
      A continuation of the palate, less fruity and more peat smoke.

  7. crippos scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    "The Mystery of Peat" could be the name of a new theology theory based upon this whisky: it's his secret and if you don't know it's there you can't feel it, but once you savored every simple element this whisky has it comes out, like a scenographer at the end of his play showing himself, doing a bow, and getting his own applause.
    • Nose
      85 85
      Malt and strong strong cider, some leather and wax - smells of "classic" and of new home furniture. Doesn't give you the feeling it needs a second thought; just takes you to your first sip. A little later some vanilla and raisins side up with the previous giants, all mixed up in a nice balance - citrus is the main character, malt is its trusty companion, the sweet notes make the surroundings.
      As I said before, medicinal smoke comes out at the end of the glass.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Medium consistency. Begins with sweet vanilla on the tip of your tongue, which then gets surrounded by woody feeling and again, strong citrus at the back of your mouth. Some chocolate also, you can feel a hint of it if you make some whisky dash on your palate. Some salty feeling at the end of the glass.
    • Finish
      82 82
      Middle length with strong wood followed by raisins and notes of vanilla, citrus, sponge cake. Some sweet flavours mix with the woody ones and give you a nice caramel. Then peat - at the end of your glass you can get it, that character has been reciting in this play for the whole time, pulling strings, exalting all the other characters...

  8. emptycask scored this whisky 80 points Expert Junior


    Medicinal at first, Citrus / Oranges, peat smoke, fennel, anise, vanilla and some ash.


    For me again the medicinal note comes first, after that its sugar sweet, with peat smoke, salmiak and licorice, in the development the citrus note comes back and there also is a little mint note.


    Not very long, and brings nothing new.

    All in all, better than expected. 
    • Nose
      81 81
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      76 76

  9. bjoernigol scored this whisky 72 points Expert Senior

    probably the only Bowmore I don't like at all

  10. Obynapewno scored this whisky 81 points Expert Junior

    Nothing complicated, simple, drinkable, perfect for a gentle introduction to the smoke
    • Nose
      81 81
      Citrus, a little iodine, wood, smoke, honey, vanilla
    • Taste
      82 82
      Citrus, caramel, smoke, sweetness
    • Finish
      80 80
      Short, smoky


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