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Bowmore: What think ye?

Take part in our whisky polls and votes. You can also post your own polls in this forum.

BOWMORE: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT?

Poll ended at Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:24 pm

1. My tolerance for salty or smoky whiskies is zero. No Islay for me, thank you.
0
No votes
2. Every Bowmore I have tried has smelled and tasted of bad perfume, or worse, and I look on this whisky as a blight upon the spirit of Islay, avoiding it at all costs.
0
No votes
3. I have encountered the occasional Bowmore that I have actually been able to stomach. But there is still no way I would buy any. Too many good ones out there, you see.
4
9%
4. Not enough smoke for me - pure and simple.
1
2%
5. Bowmore represents a hit-or-miss proposition for me. That said, I have experienced some very tasty examples, and would certainly be willing to keep on trying the odd product from this distillery.
13
29%
6. Yes, I have come across the odd dud bottle of Bowmore. But I have also tasted so many good releases that I would not hesitate to avidly seek out others down the road.
16
36%
7. Absolutely love the stuff!
11
24%
 
Total votes : 45

Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:24 pm

I can well recall my very first encounter with the whisky from Bowmore Distillery, this being back in the days when the only widely available issue was the 12 Year Old that came in a dumpy brown bottle sporting a rounded, gold-embellished label. Since then, I have tried many more Bowmores, ranging from the nascent Legend through to the 25 Year Old and a few of the limited edition releases. Given the incredible variation of opinions concerning Bowmore`s make, I thought it might be interesting to poll members here as to their thoughts on Bowmore. Even better if mention is made of specific releases!
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:42 pm

Didn't vote, as nothing there represents how I feel. I've never had a Bowmore that I liked--the 16 cs came close. It's not too peaty, it's not too unpeaty, it's not too perfumey; it's just something about it that's fingernails on the chalkboard for me. Like someone took all the parts necessary to make an Islay malt, and assembled them all wrong...Frankenmalt. It's the only whisky I feel this way about! Obviously, lots of people love the stuff, and they're not wrong. But in my mind, Bowmore is the real love-it-or-hate-it malt.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:17 pm

Hmmm. I must say, i've never had a "bad" bottle, but one or two indifferent ones. My first was also the dumpy 12 with the decal, and I was impressed. It was different, and the herbal/mineral/lavender note was intriguing. My next was the "old" Darkest, which i really liked!

Then I had a 22 YO IB given to me which was stunning. I have since enjoyed 3 bottles of "Dusk" Port finished - one of the best "finished" smokey whiskies i've had, sadly no longer produced. The 15 YO Mariner was rough and ready but enjoyable.My one bottle of 17 was excellent, quite delicate. I recently tried two from the "Single Malts of Scotland" range at a tasting - both rich and round...well integrated sherry and smoke, and with the distinctive Bowmore note. One had a huge nose of toffee apples!

Perhaps the weakest was the 1989 OB Bourbon cask. Not bad, just a poor cousin of the Laphroaig/Lagavulin/Ardbeg CS OB's

Maybe i've been lucky, or I just have poor taste!
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Ganga » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:23 pm

Bowmore is one of my favorites. Bowmores have lots of smoke but the smoke reveals itself as more towards a wood smoke than a peat smoke. I have found old Bowmores to be among the very best whiskies. Bowmore isn't for every whiskyfile, even those that love Islay whiskies. It seems to be so different from the others. Not as oily, much lighter peat influence and heavy charred oak influence.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:56 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:Perhaps the weakest was the 1989 OB Bourbon cask.

That's the one I almost liked...figures!
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Ras Mazunga » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:44 am

Only had the 12yo Enigma. The first few pours were terrible and then suddenly I just loved the taste. Peated sherried whisky, an eyeopener for me. A few months ago I bought 12yo ob, should have opened this one already I just realise.
Decided to buy a 12yo Enigma again. Good value over here.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby UUNetBill » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:46 am

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is what I love about the world of whisky. An established brand, a definite house style, some people love it, some hate it. Some will grow to love it, some will drift away to other drams. This is why I always encourage my "Oh, I don't like whisky" friends to try another dram every now and again - just as I didn't like the Laphroaig 10 a few years back, now I always have a bottle handy.

Tastes change, people change, but the enjoyment of fine whisky is eternal. . .

:thumbsup:

PS - I'm okay with most Bowmores, but have others I prefer.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby pkt77242 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:25 am

I have had the Bowmore 15yo Mariner (which I own a bottle of) that I find to be subpar, but I have had some Bowmore IB at tastings that have been pretty solid and had much less of the lavender/fwp. I am a little tempted by the Darkest 15yo and the occasional IB.

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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Knolly » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:57 am

I voted no. 4 - it didn't have any votes and was lonely!

In general, that's my opinion of Bowmore. Of the standard range, only the Dusk bottling has ever interested me. My bottle of Darkest is of the FWP kind - yuck... The rest of the range seems anemic to me and doesn't hold my interest at all. Perhaps that's my style of taste because Highland Park is similar to me as well, though I happen to LOVE Talisker.

That being said, our club is doing a private bottling bottling and it is actually really good. Maybe because it's cask strength. This is the first Bowmore that I've really liked and hence, I'm getting a couple of bottles of it :) So, there you go - I guess I could have voted for no. 5 as well :p
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:05 am

Well, I was waiting for the dread FWP to come up. And once again, as someone who just doesn't like Bowmore, I will jump to its defense. From everything I've read and heard, so-called FWP is some sort of taint--it is not the distillery's floral house character. It is rare, apparently limited to certain vintages, and according to those who claim to have experienced it, it is an overwhelmingly unpleasant sensation. It's one thing not to like Bowmore, as I do not; it's another thing altogether to slander it with the FWP label. My sense of it is that it's very much like an orgasm: if you think you've experienced it, you haven't.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby LagaDrinker » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:25 am

Never had a bad one. I really have liked all that I have tried
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:06 pm

LagaDrinker wrote:Never had a bad one. I really have liked all that I have tried


What? Bowmores or orgasms?!?
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Ganga » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:27 pm

My understanding is that the FWP is stickly sweet and unpleasant. This is coming from those that enjoy the lovely lavendar that is found in Bowmore. I have also been told that this phenomenon can be found in the other Morrison distilleries. I have never really experienced it in any Bowmore.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Swedish Chef » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:20 am

Being a n00b at this whisky thing I've only had the current 12 and the Darkest. First time I tried the 12 I loved it, had the last dram out of a five or six month old bottle tonight and thought it a bit thin compared to other Islay whiskies - loved the saltiness of it though. As for the 15yo Darkest (which I had right before the 12yo), I still find the FWP comment to be true. :evil:

I might buy another 12 again but tomorrow I'll be replacing the Caol Ila 12 instead of the Bowmore.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Wave » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:04 am

Outside of the late great Bowmore 21, Bowmore is my least favorite Islay. Their OB's in the last decade or so are just not up to par (quality) with the rest of Islay's output. IB's (Signatory and G&M) have been somewhat better.

Cheers!
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:14 am

I've had some fabulous Bowmores. Sadly few of them have been recent OBs, but I haven't tried the new bottle shape much. Folks tell me it is improving again.

When its good its brilliant.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Aidan » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:04 am

I'm with Willy JJ on that. When it's good, it's hard to beat for me. The 25 and the 30 are brilliant. A 1968 I had at the distillery was the best whisky I've ever tasted.

The 17 (although it's harder to get now) is excellent too.

And as Ganga said, it has a particular kind of smokeyness. I get a kind of ash smoke from it. I really love that.

I've had plenty I don't like, though.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby lohssanami » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:12 pm

I've tried the following Bowmore OB's:

12 - okay but not exciting
Dawn - like it and have some in reserve
17 - good, but don't want to shell out $80 for it
1971/34 yr - absolutely incredible

The two SMWS bottles I've tried:

3.106 - outstanding
3.137 - nearly as outstanding

I've never experienced the FWP, but it would be interesting to see what the hubbub is about that one, whether negative or negative!
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Aidan » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:14 pm

I have never experienced the FWP either. Maybe it does exist, but the more it's mentioned, the more people are going to think they have tasted it.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby borgom » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:10 pm

The jury is still out for me.
I've tried and certainly experienced a bottle of 17 that was overwhealmingly perfumey, and like actual fragrance, the taste and aftertaste was very bitter (don't ask, I was curious ok!?).
I'd not even heard of the unfortunate WHP reference until after my experience with the 17 when I went searching the internet for an explanation to this strange taste sensation.
FHP exists, it's just a shame the term describing the taste is so vulgar, 'tis funny though (come on people let's not be too serious :P ).
I've also had a bottle of 12 that I thought was quite poor, certainly not sickening like the 17 but not at all enjoyable. Too much fiddling and caramel in my humble opinion, it was very dull tasting with no finish.
At the moment I have a Hart Bros 10 (ex sherry cask) open and it is a world apart from the 2 OB's. It still has some floral/potpourri elements and on warmer days it even has some quite odd slightly old oily fish elements but it is still fantastically enjoyable. In fact it's super salty allure has convinced me I need a dram right now.
I'll reserve judgement until i've tried a 10 ex bourbon and some older IB's. I'll probably cave in to curiousity and buy another OB at some stage too.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby triguy42 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:50 pm

Back around 2002ish Bowmore was one of my favorite daily malts. The Legend was a good smoky young brash malt, the 17 was clean and refined and complex, and the Mariner was an interesting but good mix of sherry, smoke and salt air. I liked the standard 12yr also, and Darkest was just interesting and different. They all reminded me very much of walking through a fern forest in the damp dew of the morning.

Then around 2004-2005 things changed. Now every bottle (except one random Legend bottle I bought that tasted like a young Lagavulin!) that I've tried, including 12yr, Legend, Cask Strength, etc.,all have this overbearing cough drop flavor that just annoys the crap out of me. Until they get rid of this I won't bother buying more.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby bankerjoe » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:17 pm

I really love Bowmore. Actually, I am kind of new, but it seems I really love Islay Scotches. I almost picked 4, though. It seems the more smoke, the better, for me anyway.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby kyorke1 » Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:59 pm

I haven't voted, I have only had the 12yo and I found that to be very enjoyable so I am tempted to explore more. I have a dawn in store but I don’t think I will be opening that any time soon. There's a CS in my local shop so I may be tempted to buy.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:27 pm

I quite like Bowmore. Untill the Whisky Meet Festival I had only ever tasted the Surf - which is an alright duty free budget whisky - and the 17 which I really like with its smoked bacon character. At the Whisky Meet Bowmore Masterclass with a very charismatic Nick Ravenhall, I had a go at several in the range including: the 12, the 15, the 17's successor; the 18, a 16 Cask Strength Port Finished, another 16yo with Bordeaux finish and finally the 25. I liked them all very much but the 25 was incredible; so light and balanced and not at all woody or astringent. Kudos to Bowmore!
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Giovinetti » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:40 pm

In fairness, I haven't tried enough of their higher end bottlings to say Bowmore is not for me. Here in Italy we can find the young Bowmore 8yo for around 20,00 euros. It is not great whisky. Still, it has a youthful zip and freshness that I like and a low enough price to make it a good value. My problem with Bowmore has been with the 12-18yo range that ask Ardbeg 10/Lagavulin 16 prices and don't come close to matching them in quality of taste. As a consequence, the name Bowmore never comes up on the horizon when I am in the mood for some very good whisky.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Ganga » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:58 pm

I always find that the Bows in the teens are sort of transitional from the youth (12 and under) to the elder statesmen. Bowmore does very well once you get into the mid 20s. You should find elements like grapefruit to join in with the smokiness.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby dramtastic » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:27 am

Ok, I also found none of the questions in the survey suited my opinion. Just bought a bottle of Bowmore 12 yesterday. First impressions after one dram were quite non committal. Try hard.... maybe, tries too much to be too many things.....maybe, would I like another dram......not tonight. Found this one well balanced between sherry and smoke but not particularly complex.

Next day I found myself actually wanting another. Had three drams, started out reminding me of a quarter strength A'bunadh( nose not palate) with some smoke, then the smoke kind of petered out,(so to speak) and became a bit like the love child of Macallan 12 and Old Pulteney 12 (with the possibilty of a 3 way with Glenmorangie Original). Maybe more complex then than first impressions led me to believe.

My greatest impession was that this was a refreshing dram like The Glenlivet 12. Is there such thing as a refreshing, light, summertime Islay dram. I think so..... Bowmore 12

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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby kyorke1 » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:48 am

dramtastic wrote:My greatest impession was that this was a refreshing dram like The Glenlivet 12. Is there such thing as a refreshing, light, summertime Islay dram. I think so..... Bowmore 12

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Bunnahabin also maybe? I didn't like the Bowmore 12 either when I first opened it although after a couple of weeks it seemed to open up quite nicely.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Ganga » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:36 pm

Yes, the new bottlings of Bowmore 12 are very nice but you really want to give them a chance to breath and stretch their "legs" a little bit.

Anyone tried a newer version of the 10?
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby LagaDrinker » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:42 pm

Not tried the 10 but the 12 that I have is very good.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:13 pm

I won't poll in this either as the options are not balanced enough in my opinion. I too have never come across this FWP either and I'm wondering if it is an urban legend at this stage..... Bowmore can be floral but that should not be confused as FWP. I have tried all the straight aged Bowmore range up to 25yo (i.e. all bottles with a sole age statement but not a name attached like darkest etc) And have never found anything untoward in them.

I loved the old 17yo which alot of other people did not get but that is fine everybody has different tastes but does not mean FWP. I currently have the 18yo and it good also but still prefer the old 17yo.

Interesting poll though, Glad to see that people are being objective.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:22 pm

Collector57 wrote:
irishwhiskeychaser wrote:Bowmore can be floral but that should not be confused as FWP

I guess that depends on what you think of floral aromas - or of FWP of course, Adrian ;)


Very true Nick and it is the reserve of Bowmore either.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby evanstonwhisky » Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:04 am

voted no. 6, even though I never a bowmore. The whisky must at least be unique to Bowmore - even if you don't like it. A sort of middling, perfumy Islay i hear. I want to try it just to see what perhaps unjustified vitriol is inspires in some to find a mix of perfume and peat. Maybe it will be interesting.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby borgom » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:46 am

One thing is for certain - love it or hate it, you never forget your first taste of Bowmore.
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Re: Bowmore: What think ye?

Postby Reggaeblues » Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:50 am

Obtained a 23 YO SM of Scotland 0 recent bottling. "a love it or hate it whisky" by their own admission.

I'm in the former category!
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