Below are my ratings of the Bowmore's I have tried. The range from my perception of an average single malt, which would be 75, to outstanding. A quick eyeball of my list shows some indys that I thought were wonderful, so so OBs that were just decent to good. For those of you who shope at Binnys, the 1982 Primemalt was welpriced and wonderful. Tasting narrative for that one follows the scores.
80 Sm Bowmore Cask Strenght (56% circa 2006)
87 Sm Bowmore 12yo 1992 (46%, Signatory, Un-chillfiltered Collection, Cask 2228)
80 Sm Bowmore 12yo (43%, OB, circa. 2005)
83 Sm Bowmore 15yo Mariner (43%, OB, 2006)
79 Sm Bowmore 16yo 1989 (51.8%, OB)
75 Sm Bowmore 16yo 1989 (51.8%, OB)
82 Sm Bowmore 17yo (43%, OB, circa. 2004)
90 Sm Bowmore 18yo (40%, Oak Barrel;Trader Joe's by Alexander Murray & Co.Broxburn)
88 Sm Bowmore 1982 21yo (46%, Primemalt, Duncan and Taylor, NC, UCF)
87 Sm Bowmore 30yo 'Sea dragon' (43%, OB)
82 Sm Bowmore Darkest (43%, OB, circa. 2004)
75 Sm Bowmore Dusk (50%, OB, circa. 2005)
75 Sm Bowmore Legend (43%, OB)
This is a wonderful malt. Balanced, sweet, gentle peat. Great butterscotch and vanilla on the palate, natural toffee. Perhaps would like liked a bit more peat for some added intensity and balance, but this was almost a classic, and probably worth finding another bottle. Shared this with friends in SF while at a conference, January 2006. Everyone loved this one, the first old single malt for several of my old pals. A worthy malt. The best few moments with this bottle: A dram with Will overlooking the bay, a chilly afternoon that called for the warmth of peat; a couple of drams with Marc while watching The Seventh Seal, and sitting in his garden overlooking Mount Tam, where Gil's ashes lie; and a dram with Ben, Jeff and Manoj in my conference hotel room. Moments like that are what make malts so special.
Clearly, I like Bowmore. There is something middle of the road about it that I find satifying, and I think the non sherried expressions seem to bring out its best.