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Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

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Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby blacksabb » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:54 am

Hi all. Well, as some of you know, I had my first single malt whisky (Cragganmore 12yrs) and loved it! There is a whole bunch of single malts that I've read about that I want to buy, and I'm going to be buying a different one each time.

I was originally going to buy the Glenfiddich 15yrs Solera Reserve next. However, I am having a coworker for lunch/dinner in 3 weeks and he loves the Bowmore Islay 12yrs. I know that this is a strong peat and smoke whisky. As I was going to indulge in a peat and smoke whisky anyway, I thought I'd give the Glenfiddich 15yrs a skip this time and buy either the Bowmore Islay 12yrs or an alternative, the Talisker 10yrs, which I know to be another strong peat and smoke whisky.

Now, you may be wondering as why I just don't buy the Bowmore Islay 12yrs as this coworker loves that one. However, this isn't one of the whiskies that was on my to buy list. In fact, this is my initial list of whiskies that I want to try, based on what I've read in this forum site, other sites and youtube reviews:


Cragganmore 12yrs Image

Glenfiddich 15yrs Solera Reserve

Balvenie Double Wood

Lagavulin 16yrs

Talisker 10yrs

Ardbeg 10yrs


So, as you can see, the Bowmore Islay 12yrs is not on my list of initial whisky purchases. So my question is this. Would you recommend that I still buy the Bowmore Islay 12yrs or the Talisker 10yrs for a strong flavoured peat and smoke whisky?

On this forum site and others, the Talisker 10yrs has rave reviews. Whereas I haven't read the equivalent for the Bowmore 12yrs. I know that the Lagavulin 16yrs is supposed to be the top of the tree as far as a peat and smoke whisky. But I was going to reserve that for the end of the year for sharing with my old man for Christmas. As it's supposed to be one of the finest whiskies in existance and it's also the most expensive (in my list of choices anyway).

So what do you recommend? The Bowmore Islay 12yrs or Talisker 10yrs?
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby upright » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:29 pm

I would rather get the Talisker before the Bowmore, but i would buy the Ardbeg 10 first. Hope it helps.
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby kyorke1 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:17 pm

Talisker 10yrs IMO. I find that the Bowmore needs time to breathe after opening and becomes far better. The T10 is great straight away. It depends what one fancies and at this stage I would definitely say either of these over the QC or Ardbeg.
Last edited by kyorke1 on Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby jazz lover » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:23 pm

Talisker.
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby Bruichladdict » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:30 pm

Hey, welcome to the forum! First off, I wouldn't characterize Bowmore or Talisker as being STRONGLY PEATY malts...I think that's why people are suggesting peat monsters to you!

They are what I would call introductory peaty whiskies. The smoke is subtle and complemented by sherry wood. I find Bowmore sweeter on my palate and Talisker is a little peppery and "meatier" (smoked eel).

I like both and in my opinion the Bowmore is a great intro to peat. My sense is that if you want to please your guest and explore peat, Bowmore would seem to be a good choice. I don't believe you will be dissappointed.

P.S.: I've found that it actually ages a bit in the bottle and gets better after opening!

:thumbsup:
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby jazz lover » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:03 pm

Bruichladdict well put. :thumbsup:
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:05 pm

Hmmm...I'm thinking you ought not to buy either without getting a taste first, lest you be stuck with a bottle you just don't like. That happened to me early in my whisky career with a Bowmore...I still can't stand the stuff. Lots of people love it, but lots don't--it's a real divider of a whisky. Consensus on Talisker is much more universally positive, but there are those who can't stand that, either. So beware.

On the other hand.... A single taste might put you off ("What the hell is this stuff?"), closing a profitable avenue of whisky exploration to you, whereas having a bottle would give you time to get to know a whisky you might initially find difficult. It wouldn't be the first time someone fell in love with something he hated at first, or didn't understand. (It's very tempting to talk about whiskies as if they were women..however, I'm far too sophisticated to lapse into such cliche. 8) )

Your call.

FWIW, I wouldn't call either of those really subtle in the smoke department--just a step down from the real peat monsters.
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:20 pm

If forced to choose between the 10YO Talisker and the 12YO Bowmore, I'd probably opt for the former.

But honestly, my recommendation is that you forego both for the time being, save up a little more and then seek out the 18YO Talisker. Your taste buds will thank you!
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby Ganga » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:15 pm

Bruichladdict gives a very good introductory into the differences between Talisker and Bowmore, although I wouldn't go so far as to say the smoke is subtle in Bowmore. Bowmore just doesn't have that big oily, earthy nature of Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig.

I personally Bowmore, Talisker, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, etc. :mrgreen: To me it's like choosing to leave behind one of the kids. My suggestion to you is to ask yourself, "Am I getting this for my friend to enjoy or is this for myself and my friend can have some too?" Friend = Bowmore, You = Talisker.

Now if you have a fear of getting a bottle you won't enjoy, try finding a sample or a bar/pub in which you can taste the whisky before purchase.
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby UUNetBill » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:21 pm

Collector57 wrote:
The Third Dram wrote:But honestly, my recommendation is that you forego both for the time being, save up a little more and then seek out the 18YO Talisker. Your taste buds will thank you!

Now there's good advice!

Well, yes and no - I used to really like the Tali 10, but then I found a deal on the 18, and, well, the last dram of the 10 I poured didn't seem quite as nice as I remembered.
:P
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:07 pm

I think Mr Tattieheids advice is a sound one. If you have the chance then by all means try them out first.

Initially, I'd second the idea mentioned earlier that you save up and go for the Talisker 18. However, I think you miss out on something important if you do so. To start with the very best of whiskies is like starting to learn wine with the top crus of Bordeaux. Your list is a good one and you will undoubtedly learn to know more expensive whiskies later on - and many of them will only be older and more expensive, but not necessarily better.
On the other hand, my advice could be utter rubbish!
:D
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby Bruichladdict » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:00 pm

Hey, I would also suggest tasting in a bar before buying and I think that you need to think about how much of that bottle your friend is going to enjoy with you. Nonetheless, you'll be out a lot less money with the Bowmore than you will for either the Tally 10 or 18.

I'm cheap at heart, what can I say!
(But I would second all of the above opinions...sooner or later, you've GOT to try the Tally 18!)
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby blacksabb » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:46 pm

Hey everyone, thanks for the suggestions. Regarding some of your advice, let me say this. Firstly, I don't have the option of buying the Talisker 18yrs as it's not in my liquor store. And if by some chance I don't like it, it's not a waste in my books because I can always just give it to my dear old dad, who likes all alcohol.

And if I don't like it, then I'll know to stay away from smoke and peat whiskies (and forget the Lagavulin 16yrs) and stick to more mellow whiskies, like the Cragganmore 12yrs, Glenfiddich 15yrs, Balvenie Double Wood, Glenmorangie 10yrs etc. So for me, it's not a waste.

What makes my decision a little more difficult is that the Bowmore Islay 12yrs is cheaper than the Talisker 10yrs. If it was the other way around (or same price) I wouldn't even post a question about it. I'd just go with the Talisker 10yrs.

So thanks again for all the replies. :)
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby dramtastic » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:39 am

Bruichladdict wrote:Hey, welcome to the forum! First off, I wouldn't characterize Bowmore or Talisker as being STRONGLY PEATY malts...I think that's why people are suggesting peat monsters to you!

They are what I would call introductory peaty whiskies. The smoke is subtle and complemented by sherry wood. I find Bowmore sweeter on my palate and Talisker is a little peppery and "meatier" (smoked eel).

I like both and in my opinion the Bowmore is a great intro to peat. My sense is that if you want to please your guest and explore peat, Bowmore would seem to be a good choice. I don't believe you will be dissappointed.

P.S.: I've found that it actually ages a bit in the bottle and gets better after opening!

:thumbsup:



I also agree with Bruichladdict.

I don't even put Tali 10 and Bow 12 in the same style as each other. Again as per the quote Talisker lot more hot/peppery, Bowmore more sherry/sweet, actually has a wine like quality, bit like a smokey Glenlivet 12(sort of).

I'ts been a little while since I've had a Tali 10 so I don't know if, as suggested, i'ts standard has dropped. But to me it was the better whisky of the two. The Bow 12 is a good introduction to a peaty stlye and to me very easy to drink. Also I'm not sure if it still is, but Dan Murpheys had the Bowmore advertised for around AUD$63 end of last week as opposed to Talisker AUD$73.
If you really want to have a peaty but well priced malt, go for the Ardbeg 10.
I personally wouldn't be worried about assaulting you taste buds with something a bit more full on, so if you can stretch the dollars go the Lagavullin 16 or Laphroaig Quarter Cask. Iv'e drunk some fairly dodgy brews in my travels over the last 25 years, so even some of the worse whiskys I've tried can taste sophisticated in comparison. Think you only need to fear if you've only ever drunk anything no stonger than orange juice.
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby borgom » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:36 am

I'd suggest the Talisker 10 (not just becuase I like it more than Bowmore) because it seems to be enjoyed by far more people (critics included) than Bowmore 12 so it's a safer bet. If your friend likes Bowmore you should see if they can give you a sample of it so you can try before you buy. Personally I've found one independant bottling of Bowmore I like but two OB's have gone down the drain.
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Talisker is really peppery

Postby evanstonwhisky » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:54 am

Just to warn you - I consider the Talisker to be the most powerful whisky I ever tasted. More powerful than the Ardbeg 10 yr, or Laphroaig QC. Its like those whiskies, but with the really prickly peppery "carbonation" sort of feel.
Talisker 10 is really peppery
So I would not view it as a bridge. Unless you really want to get your socks knocked off by pepperiness (which I liked, but took time to get used to), you may want to go with the Bowmore. Highland Park 12 would make a much better bridge,

I had the same question, how to bridge sweet to peaty, except mine was the reverse - I had tried smoky/peaty and fruit/honey, wanted in between. Upon a poll and advice, I got the Talisker. While I liked it, because I'm used to hardcore, for me it was actually harder then Ardbeg by far. I use it as a something to drink when I really want something powerful. It is sweet underneath though, but the pepperyness (sic, redundancy) really defines it.

So I choose other, since I don't know Bowmore: Highland Park 12 for the combo(40$), or Old Pulteney (34$) as a wildcard if you just want something more marintime (salty, fresh, and lightly sweet - just tried it 2day, its relaxing, hard to put down).
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Highland 12 yrs would really be best

Postby evanstonwhisky » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:56 am

Simplified: Highland 12 yrs would really be best - in my opinion. Real talk.
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Re: Question about Bowmore Islay 12yrs vs Talisker 10yrs

Postby blacksabb » Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:00 am

Oh man, so many different opinions. I think I'll just go by price by the time my proposed lunch/dinner comes around, haha. I look forward to it and I'll let you know what I've bought and what I thought of it. At the moment, I think I'm still going to go for the Talisker 10yrs. And if I love it or hate it, so be it. And besides, if it's the really strong smoke, peat, pepper whisky, I'll know whether I like strong or mellow whiskies.

And also, I meant to put Highland Park 12yrs in my to buy list. I'll definately sample that in time.
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