A curious new Scotch drinker stumbles into a local liquor store. He isn’t quite educated on all the different regions, flavor profiles or even brand names. A few of the bottles have this peculiar phrase on the label: Islay Single Malt. Sounds interesting, he thinks. He proudly slaps down the cash, the store clerk asks him “are you sure?” The newbie is not quite sure what he means by this, but he drives home in anticipation. After pouring a glass he shoves his nose in and takes it in….
Peat bog. Industrial smoke and oil. Vegetal peat reek and medicinal notes of iodine and bandaides. Campfire smoke and wet gasoline soaked rope. Maybe a slight sweet note if your lucky but most likely pungent moss and musty oak. Folks, welcome to the weather worn Scottish island called Islay. Today, we look at Bowmore 12yr Old Single Malt. A few particulars first…
First off, everyone relax, Bowmore 12 is just fine. In fact, we like it a lot. But peated whisky is not for everyone. It should be, but it takes time to acclimate your palate to the flavors. As time passes, you begin to pick up the nice, little flavors behind the strong peat and a great balancing act arrives. In the grand scheme of things, Bowmore’s peating level is some where in the middle of the pack. Call it a mid-level peating. But no worries, people, Islay malts are rather wonderful and are some of the best in the industry. On to our review…
SWC Group Review
Nose- Mossy peat and peppery brine. Pipe smoke and cigar box. Orange peel with lemon. Hints of nice sweetness underneath.
Taste– Salt water taffy with sweet fruit. Rich and weighty. Citrus sour but sweetening as it coats the tongue.
Finish– Short to medium. Wall of smoke and cough syrup. Malty, medicinal and drying.
Comment- Medium flavor level, the finish fizzled out a bit but overall a solid dram. Interesting and drinkable with some decent character.
SWC Rating – 84/100
Average Retail – $50
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