Also agree, the 25 yo is something special. A few years ago the distillery manager at the time, Isla Campbell, offered me various Bowmores to taste going from younger to older - he could see I wasn't impressed with any of the offerings but when he came back with 1/2 a tumbler ( ! ) of the 25 yo and saw my reaction he seemed satisfied. He had to go off to deal with a burst water main and left me in heaven sipping this golden nectar and taking in the beautiful view across a sunny Loch Indaal. The best Bowmore I've tasted was a 1967 50% from sherry casks for the Italian market tasted at the Lochside. Also a favourite: Bowmore Bicentenary standard bottling (imitation blown glass bottle) not forgetting the 1965 50% from sherry butts. In my view Bowmore has gone downhill big time - the taste is much lighter and far less interesting and yummy. Someone (not Isla) advised me that in the old days it was distilled much more slowly which, I suspect, explains a lot: malts are booming, and the accountants and marketing managers call the shots in the big concerns
. On the plus side Springbank and other independent distilleries still exist or are being (re-)built to cater, hopefully, for the likes of us aficionados!