Review: Bowmore 12 Years Old

Review: Bowmore 12 Years Old

bowmore 12 year old

One of the big names of Islay, Bowmore is a staple of bars around the world.

Bowmore’s 12 year old bottling is its youngest single malt with an age statement, and it’s a solid entry point to Bowmore’s typical structure. Moderately gold/amber in color, Bowmore 12 offers a mild nose with a somewhat hot character. The peaty smokiness doesn’t come into play until you take a sip, and then a lush smoke rolls over you, almost characteristic of a grass fire. There’s also honey and a little lemon in the body, both of which come into play after the smoke starts to fade.

The finish is short and mild, and a little watery, but warming. Altogether a solid whisky, though a bit on the simple side. 80 proof.

The only other Bowmore I have on hand for comparison is Bowmore 17 Years Old (B-), which is only sold at duty free (and similar) outlets. This 86-proof whisky is bolder and more aggressive, but it shares much of the 12’s DNA. The 17 has tougher smoke, which gives it a lightly harsh and bitter finish, but it is tempered by a good bit of water. I rather prefer the 12.

86 proof.


Bowmore 12 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. granov on August 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    the legend (NAS) is not bad either and is cheaper.
    great bargin on the Legend which i love.

  2. J. Lindsey on December 17, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Weird price point on this stuff where I live. I can get 10 or 15 year old Laphroaig for less, so I usually go with that.

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