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Bowmore 15-year-old

Overall rating
87.73/100
votes
54
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Glasgow Garden Festival
Bottled
1988
Stated Age
15 years old
Strength
40.0 % Vol.
Size
750 ml
Label
White Ceramic Jug
Added on
12 Jul 2009 8:35 pm

Average value

€ 867,76

5 × in wishlist

54 × member ratings

51 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Bowmore 15-year-old

14 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.73 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    [October, 2017]  Another find in my sample library from a time when I did neither tasting notes nor scores yet.  So I do this some 20+ years later now...

    Another fine old Bowmore with a great nose and a somewhat weaker palate mostly due to the low abv.  But this bottling (like many other ceramic jugs) is highly affected by oxydation and evaporation so some of the rather weak ratings might come from a "tired jug".  After around 20 minutes in the glass this dram gets more and more unimpressive and looses its great complexity and subtleness - so drink it rather fast...

    PS:  With reference to Serge's tasting note I cannot detect any dryness or austere characteristics.  But as I stated above: every jug develops quite different over the years.
    • Nose
      92 92
      The colour is old gold and the texture shows slow legs and late fat tears. The nose is very subtle and delicate on this typical early seventies Bowmore profile of fruits, significant maritime peat and heather honey. Interestingly, other WB reviewers found this rather unimpressive but I think it has a great complexity and is wonderfully balanced (but of course it does not punch the aromas into your face like so many modern designed drams). I really like it and could sniff this for hours.
    • Taste
      89 89
      The taste is complex and balanced as well but not as impressive as is the nose. It is sweeter (more sugars, less fruits) and peatier than the nose but still very nice. As expected, water is not needed as it just flattens the dram.
    • Finish
      87 87
      The mouthfeel is smooth and coating with some minor peppery moments that are even welcomed to pep it up (due to the low abv). The finish is of medium length only and adds no new impressions (but no distracting notes either).

  2. dram-drinker scored this whisky 88 points Moderator

    Grassy and vegetables - garden festival matches quite well
    • Nose
      89 89
      Little smoky, cigars, leafy, grassy, green fruits, some vegetables - actually not bad
    • Taste
      88 88
      Oily, subtle sweetness, yellow and green fruits, peaches, apples, apricots, quinces - pretty OK
    • Finish
      87 87
      Medium long, warm, hints of grapefruits, more cigars

  3. lincolnimp scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

     A younger Islay tasting tonight but 10-15 years of age from days gone by, tasted in this order:-  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/12324/ardbeg-10-year-old-guaranteed  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/38654/lagavulin-12-year-old-pure-islay-malt  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/9829/bowmore-15-year-old  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/17442/caol-ila-15-year-old  https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/11524/laphroaig-15-year-old     

    The Lagavulin knocked the Ardbeg out cold taste wise     

    This is where I would put them but there is little between the Caol Ila, Lagavulin and laphroaig.   

    1 - Caol Ila    

    2 - Lagavulin   

    3 - Laphroaig   

    4 - Bowmore   

    5 - Ardbeg   

    The caol Ila has the best nose, the Lagavulin just shades things on the palate but overall the Caol Ila wins as the nose is so good. The Laphy is a solid third.   

    The Bowmore had a nice nose but lacked power, the old Ardbeg was found wanting against such stiff competition but still a decent dram.

  4. lincolnimp scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    I think this has suffered a little because of the age old problem of ceramic whisky bottles but stIll a decent dram if a little underpowered, it will be interesting to compare it to the Caol Ila 15 year ceramic OB.

    Nice nose.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  5. lincolnimp scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Decent, with some nice notes but in parts is let down by a lack of power.
    • Nose
      This has much more fruit on the nose that the old Ardbeg 10 Guaranteed and Lagavulin 12 year White Horse. Plenty of sweet grapefruit, Madeira cake, sponge cake that sort of thing, warm pastries,  icing sugar, hint of peat but not much.

      I like this a little closed but promising.
    • Taste
      There is some peat mixing in with the fruit that was on the nose but lots of bitterness from the wood which unbalances everything. 

      Thankfully it improves after a few  mouthfulls still sweet grapefruit , hint of lemon and cream with a little biscuit.
    • Finish
      Reasonable, approaching medium but gets a little flat towards the end.

  6. ctu scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Typical old Bowmore profile with less fruitiness.
    • Nose
      Creamy peat, rich fruitiness, especially banana and grapefruit. Vanilla, salted minerals, medicines and iodine.
    • Taste
      Oily and creamy. Honey, cocoa, salt, pepper, peat, antique leather, grapefruit and earl gray tea.
    • Finish
      Medium length, sweet, spicy, oaky.

  7. cuhp scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    A bit dull, but okay whisky
    • Nose
      Grapefruit, fresh tobacco, smoke from a pipe, cedar, vanilla
    • Taste
      Dark chocolate, peat, leather, salt.
    • Finish
      Bitter and salty with leather and liquorice 

  8. Jean-Brice scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Rather late, uncomplicated but pleasant enough
    • Nose
      Almond paste, shortbread, some flowers, banana
    • Taste
      A little peat violet, aqueux
    • Finish
      Rather short on honey

  9. Glennie scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    Quite nice. But old whisky isn't nessesarily better. Todays 15 YO Darkest or Laimrig is better.

    Body and taste is actually better than nose and initial taste. That is quite unusual I think.
    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      86 86

  10. pilgrim77 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Very classy nose, with plenty of fruits (pears, apricots and melon), roasted nuts, salty sea air and soft, creamy peat smoke. It couldn't take more than a drop of water due to the low bottling strength, but it helped open up the nose slightly and released more woody notes from the cask. It feels like there are some older casks in the mix here, and it is certainly a different profile to more recent (e.g. 1990s distillate) Bowmore. Rather more straightforward and simple on the palate, with woody and peppery notes to the fore (it is also rather thin, likely due to the low strength), leading to a return of the soft and creamy peat smoke in the lingering finish. Slightly more body and complexity on the palate wouldn't hurt, but otherwise this is a lovely example of older Bowmore.

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