Bowmore Islay 12 Year Old Review


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whisky glass with ice


Type – Single Malt

Age – 12 Year Old

Location – Islay

Casks – ex-Bourbon

Price – £34.95

Taste Profile

Smokiness – 3/5

Fruitiness – 2/5

Oakiness – 2.5/5

Spiciness – 2/5

Boldnress – 3/5

S&S Rating



Taste – 4/5

Nose – 3.5/5

Value – 4/5

Interested in this whisky?

What do we think of this whisky?

Are you looking to get into smokey whiskies? The Bowmore Islay 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch is a great starting point. It’s smokey but not too smokey which is a fairly common trend among Bowmore whiskies. Before tasting, you can distinctly take in an citrus and sweet aroma. The peatiness is fairly mild and you can pick up the sweetness from the oak barrels. The more you take in, the more you pick up chocolatey notes as well. These attributes are down to the use of ex-Bourbon American casks, as used to make many scotches. Surprisingly, we found the flavour of the 12 year old smoother than that of it’s elder siblings like the 15 and 18 year old scotches which pack a bit more spice in them. This 12 year old also has a longer oaky finish that stays with you.

This is an easy to drink scotch, it’s light yet still full of flavour, and great value for money. We find it competes with many expensive whiskies out there (including other Bowmore options), a cost effective way to keep the whisky cabinet full!

Should I add ice or water?

This is an easy to drink Islay whisky. It’s great neat and we’d maybe veer away from adding ice or water in this case.


What music genres pair well with this whisky?

Folk, Rock, Acoustic, Blues

What music pairs with this whisky?

It’s only fitting that we pair a scotch whisky with a Scottish band from time to time. Kassidy is a band many may not have heard of before and they sadly only made this one album. The folk-y rock group write easy to listen to vocal harmonies and catchy choruses. The songs ‘I don’t know’ and ‘Home’ are good examples of this. It’s a band we keep coming back to just like Bowmore’s 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch.


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