I may have deliberately skipped it in the period of fragrant violet-infused Bowmore, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried this Bowmore 12 Years, the cornerstone of the core range. At least I haven’t taken notes until now.
This is the latest version (2018-2019) with a bigger white label and the age statement in a central black block. A couple of years ago the label was similar but the age statement was at the bottom in a black banner (see my review of the Bowmore 18 Years for instance).
Bowmore 12 yo
(40%, OB +/- 2019)
Nose: dusty woody hints up front, mixed with warm smoke and the sweetness of roasted pineapple and banana. Vanilla and apples, light iodine and olive brine. Simply very good.
Mouth: soft briny smoke and coal dust mixed with sweetness. Peaches, pineapple again. Cigar ashes. Hints of vanilla. Very balanced, with a nice oily texture, but it’s not as full-bodied as I hoped.
Finish: a very gentle finale, with heather honey, lightly acrid ashy notes and fresh some oak shavings.
It’s nice to see some of the tropical fruits return, even to entry-level Bowmore. Definitely worth a try if you’re on a budget and want to discover a balanced, mildly smoky Islay whisky. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt among others.