It’s the heart and soul of Islay single malt Whisky.
Islay is special. For centuries, all they had was the local barley, clear spring water, cut and dried peat to heat their homes, and the sea… always there was the sea. If you take all that and wring it into a barrel, you get Bowmore… a Whisky spirit that clings to the memory of the barley, the peat, and the sea. The Bowmore Distillery is one of the oldest in all of Scotland. This storied distillery lies on the west coast of Islay, where the sea and native peat give rise to one of the most recognized smoky drams in the single-malt Whisky world.
Bowmore Islay 12 year old is the very heart of the Bowmore range of single malt Whiskies. And lot of Bowmore fans are very excited because the current releases are a throwback to the traditional Bowmores produced in the 1960s and 1970s before mergers and acquisitions dimmed their craftsmanship for several years. It’s so good that it took runner-up as Whisky of the Year in 2015. Importantly, it is what they call a “medium peated” dram. Plenty of sea and smoke and spice to let you know that you are drinking an Islay single malt, but with an intentionally natural balance to let the natural fruits tickle the tastes buds as well.
The Flavor Spiral™ shows the most common flavors that you'll taste in Bowmore 12 Year Old and gives you a chance to have a taste of it before actually tasting it.
We invented Flavor Spiral™ here at Flaviar to get all your senses involved in tasting drinks and, frankly, because we think that classic tasting notes are boring.
Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made in Scotland using a pot still distillation process at a single distillery, with malted barley as the only grain ingredient. It must be matured in oak casks in Scotland for at least three years (most single malts are matured longer).
Smokey, but easy to drink and a great introduction into smokey whiskey
It’s awfully decent. Coming back to whisky after some 5 year break or so. Smokey but not insane, some other notes also there. No reason to be angry at the bottle but no reason to get another one either, I’d say.
Still happened to end up with another bottle and this is actually pretty nice. Colour is dark and full, nose pretty weak and medicinal but the taste is nice. Smokey, buttery, berries.
It was for me a gateway Islay. It had hints of the peat smoke without blowing your head off like the Ardbeg or Laphroaig. Nice sweetness with hints of vanilla and stone fruit.
Peaty and silty on the nose. Lighter smoke flavor than I expected, citrusy and sweet flavors overtake the smoke. I'm not getting as much of a smoky finish as I would like. Definitely not mad at it, but not something I'm likely to buy again.
Reminds me a bit of Johnnie Walker Double Black. Smooth with the right amount of peat
One of my favorite Scotch. Great Peat flavor.
I really wanted to like this, but I could never get past the cardboard taste. Is that coming from the fake coloring they put in it?
Smoooooth, very nice bottle, smoother then the Taliskers!
Typical Islay scotch. Smoke, salt, very smooth. Not quite as good as Talisker 10 nor Ardbeg 10. Overall an excellent lower priced scotch.
Peaty but not too much, gets and citrus taste towards the back. Wish it had higher ABV.
I think I'm discovering I like lightly sweet.
Maybe the best I’ve had pound for pound. Smoke, peat, with a finish that lingers.
I love this whiskey. The right amount of balance and peat. There’s a very distinct nutty after taste that some may not like, but it made it even better for me.
Peat-y, Smoky goodness - smooth finish with slight sweetness left on the tongue
Nice hints of citrus, very smooth, a top favorite.
Really good scotch. Little peat, peppery, citrus.
Buttery smooth delightful scotch.Very easy drinking! The butterscotch notes seriously bloom with ice. Floral with salty sea! My personal #1 thus far 9.0
Love this one, very smooth, but a great taste!
Spicier on the back end
very nice, perfect smokey tone, just a tad too sweet for my taste, but i'd get it again for family and friends when they come over.
This is my staple every day drinking scotch, has a a little bit of everything and not too much of anything.
Hi Gary, I'm a bourbon drinker trying to expand my palate. I've only had a few scotches, but they were all very peat forward which I didn't care for. What do you think? Go for it?
This is a good one, with not too much peat. Also try GlenMorangie 10 year at around $27 a bottle
Amazing intricate tast, not too sweet or all that smokey but has a lot of deep tones.
A little too peaty for me
Extremely peaty. As if you are biting into a tree that had been laying on the forest for about 20 years.
Not really ever being a whiskey guy and looking for a decent first scotch to try I settled on the bowmore 12 year. I was recommended to stay away from peated scotch and islays in general for my first scotch, but the smokey finish was probably my favorite part of the drink. I was hesitant on first smell but aquired the taste for it on my first glass.
Over about a week I finished off the bottle drinking a glass or two neat in the afternoon and I couldn't be more happy. At 40ABV I wasn't surprised of the pungent boozy smell, but beneath the initial smell I noticed a light smoke and sweet citrus. On the first sip the orange peel notes and subtle caramel notes were what I picked up first, but with time in glass I picked up a prominent honey taste and the smokey finish mellowed out.
Would recommend neat, this was too tasty to dilute.
Excellent spirit for the price. This bottle will suit those looking for peat but does not over power the palette.
Not as nice as Bowmore 15, but still very good.
Pleasant but unremarkable - the spice and smoke just doesn’t mix smooth
Good flavor, subtle peat not oily, subtle smoke just a hint, and a bit of spice
very nice, smoky, peaty sipper; just lovely straight, and fine with a little ice
Nice strong taste, if you like peaty, smoke drinks.
I’m a Laphroaig 10 kinda guy, but this works as a one-off. A little too sweet for me and could use a little more ABV. Usually I always stick with Laph 10 or Ardbeg Corryvreckan, but very happy I have this in my bar now!
I don't normally gravitate towards peated scotches, but for the price, I really enjoy Bowmore 12.
Lots of campfire smoke in the nose, but with some citrus as well. The taste is pear with some vanilla sweetness.
10/10 one of my all time flavorites.
Perfectly peaty and smoky.
This is probably the first peated scotch I actually didn't like and reading other reviews I am wondering if I got a bad batch of if I just don't know what I'm talking about. The peat is on the light side, like highland Park but without the Sherry influence all I taste is old socks, cheap salt and watered down to near crap. The biggest disappointment is the 40% abv which means bowmore took this to the bare minimum legally without thinking much into flavor because they wanted to squeeze every last penny out of it. I wouldn't even serve this to friends.
My first attempt at peaty/smoky whisky. I eventually got used to the smokiness and peat, but the further I got along down the bottle the more medicinal this got for me and eventually turned me down. All and all, it's good but not good like Laphroaig in my opinion.
Very distinct flavour-peatness.to peaty for me though
Great Peaty flavor.
I love a pleated whiskey and found this one to be mildly peated. Very tasty and balanced. Highly recommend.
Only if you want PEAT!!!
Nice balance between peat and sherry sweetness. Good flavors and mouthfeel. very well balanced more peaty than the Highland Park 12yr.
Was my first peat im not too fond of it but it is a good whisk(e)y!
An absolute pleasure to sip with good friends. This is a true blessing to the Scotch drinkers with discerning taste. Smooth with a subtle sweetness I recommend you have this one on your bar for the occasional Scotch drinkers and the discerning
very solid scotch
fruity nose. The palate on the other hand is peaty w/ a smooth finish. Nice but not an extraordinary single malt.
Way too much peat for my taste.
Great, Smokey and smooth, great flavor
If you like smoke, but you're not looking to be overwhelmed, this is the perfect go to scotch. Smooth, drinkable, delicious. Not a kick in the face smoke-wise. Worth a permanent spot on your shelf (even if your shelf is small or running out of room). I always have a bottle of this at home.
Some more Turpin aromatics. Linseed on the nose. Some cardboard on the finish. More minerals on the finish.
Peaty and smoky without being too dark, and very smooth.
Good, but has a slightly sour / musty taste to it. Love other bowmores but this one is underwhelming
K second, sauer, rauch, süß
12 yr old scotch that’s better than a lot of 21 yr old scotch very earthy some peat and heat sweetness complex great flavor!
Strong smokey flavor almost to the point of overwhelming, but hints of caramel come through at the end
A great intro to Islay that keeps you coming back. Soft peak smoke with salt, brine, chocolate & tropical fruit.
Nose: seaweed, kelp, smoke, leather, hint of ginger
Taste: creosote, marine/salt/ocean spray, touch of cinnamon.
Floral, yet peaty. Nice palate. Smokier taste than nose. Finish is decently long, but not too long. Safe for newcomers for peat scotch.
Smells like varnish
Not quite as smoky as I was hoping, but still quite good
Sehr torfige Nase, Lagerfeuer im Mund, kein charakteristisches Geschmacksprofil, nicht unerträglich rauchig
Quite good. Smooth with some smoke but not overpowering.
I didn't like the taste or the smell of it.
My favorite so far. Long, smoky finishes get me every time and this is the smoothest I have ever experienced. Definitely going to keep this one in my personal stock.
What are your favorite peaty Scotches?
Great price/quality factor. Better in everything than Ardmore Legacy, though they are quite similar.
Peaty, Smokey, finishing with some lemon honey aroma...
THE islay. Not strong peaty and specific flavour. It is like a Levis 501. It is suitable to whatever feelings and situations.
If Irish and Scotch had a baby, this would be it. Smooth and honey for the Irish side with a tad of smoke from the Scotch. Very nice. Had the Dark and the 18 yr old, but I think this is the winner of the three.
Bowmore is certainly a treat. Nice with a peaty flavor and a smooth finish, it has become one of my favorites.
Solid peat with a smooth drinking finish.
Great peaty flavor!
A solid introductory scotch for those seeking to understand what Islay is all about.
Bowmore is by far my favorite scotch distillery. I usually purchase the small batch whisky they produce as my regular drinking whisky. While I love the small batch, the 12 year absolutely blows it out of the water. This whisky is an absolute delight to sip and enjoy. Incredibly smooth, I will endeavor to keep a bottle around the house permanently.
Heather, brine, smoke, and light honey on the nose. Smoky honey sweetness in the palate with a long, warm, smoky finish. The honey sweetness balances with the smoke very well. Great introduction to Islay whiskies if you've never had one and are a little leery of the smoke.
Not for nothing, I LOVE Islay singles however, after being to many tastings, cigar events and the like, I have to admit Bowmore is by least favorite. Actually purchased a bottle, tried 1 sip and tossed the bottle out. For some reason never could enjoy Bowmore.
Great for the price in Trader Joe's at around 43 dollars a bottle
Smooth, peaty, sweet ansd salty. Not as heavy as many of the brothers from Islay, the balance and smoothness makes this a good one for this money.