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Bowmore 12 yo

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Related whiskies : Bowmore 12 Years Old

Bowmore 12 yo

Postby bjorn » Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:09 am

Hi,
I'm new to the forum. Long time Bourbon drinker, scotch newbie. I'm a poor college student wondering what to do. I can buy a bottle of Bowmore 12 yo here for $24. The one thing holding me back is this FWP that I have recently heard of. Judging by the good reviews that I have read, $24 is a really good price, but this FWP has me worried. Is it a recent phenomenon, something that might not have been accounted for in older reviews that I've read? Is it something people run into 10%, 25%, 50% or more from Bowmore? Another thing is, I'm going to Scotland in two weeks. Am I better off buying a bottle there? I hear that the stuff is fairly pricy in its home country. I don't want to throw my $24 away on a bad bottle, but I don't want to throw away a good deal. any advice?
Thanks
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:06 am

FWP has been around for a few years and the name was first coined by PLOWED. The odd thing about it is that there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it. Some bottles are good and some are bad, some start out well and end horribly and visa versa. Nobody can gaurantee that your particular bottle of Bowmore will be FWP free. There is plently of talk about the FWP on other threads on this forum, a little digging will produce results.

As to Scotland, yes the malts can be pricey but it all depends where you come from. As to the opportunity cost, for myself, I always try to find something that I cannot find at home and something that I think is unusual and the hell with the price within reason. If you add on the cost of a couple of bottles of great scotch onto the entire cost of the trip then usually it hardly makes a difference.

If you are in Edinburgh take a look at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society ( http://www.smws.com ) they have some great single malts at very reasonable prices at either venue.

As for the rest of the country you just have to ask and the members of this forum will give you lots of great advice, collectively they have a wealth of valuable knowledge.

Have a great trip and let us know what you brought home at the end of the trip.

Lawrence
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Postby andrewfenton » Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:48 pm

In Scotland prices are higher, except for rarer bottlings. Those tend to have premium prices abroad, wiping out the savings you get from lower alcohol taxes.
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Postby Admiral » Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:50 am

Of course, if you purchase more than 50 pounds of scotch from the more reputable outlets (i.e. The Whisky Shop, etc), and have the bottles tagged so that you can't open them until you get home, then you get your VAT refunded at the airport before you leave the UK.

(In other words, you get a 17% discount!!)

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Crispy Critter » Sun May 01, 2005 1:56 am

Just remember that, even if you do get a VAT rebate from the UK, you could still be liable for duty in your home country. Of course, (for the US) if you bring in only one liter, and stay within your $400 duty-free allowance, that liter is duty-free. Of course, this can make buying an expensive bottling a bit less painful... and I would have followed suit if I hadn't been an utter newbie to Scotch on my 1999 UK trip.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon May 02, 2005 5:19 am

Admiral wrote:Of course, if you purchase more than 50 pounds of scotch from the more reputable outlets (i.e. The Whisky Shop, etc), and have the bottles tagged so that you can't open them until you get home, then you get your VAT refunded at the airport before you leave the UK.

(In other words, you get a 17% discount!!)

Cheers,
Admiral


:shock:

How does one go about doing this?
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Postby Lawrence » Mon May 02, 2005 8:12 pm

That's a good question, I thought you just had to present the goods to customs/VAT bandits at the airport and they processed the paper work then. I understand then then mail you your refund 18 years later.
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Postby Admiral » Tue May 03, 2005 4:30 am

You have to get a special receipt at the time of purchase with the shop's VAT trading number. It's a special form, and simply writing their VAT number on a regular receipt is no good. Not all shops have these, and you can get a nasty surprise at Heathrow when you go to make your claim and get told that your receipt isn't valid!

Anyway, with a proper receipt, you submit your documentation at Heathrow and either get refunded on the spot, or a cheque will be sent to you, depending on the amount.

My cheque arrived within 10 days :P

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue May 03, 2005 4:52 am

Heathrow's a big place, Admiral....

Actually, I now have a vague memory of attempting this, but being in something of a rush, deciding it wasn't worth the bother. Considering how much I bring back every year, it must have been quite a bother. And I flew out of Edinburgh. And I only had the proper receipts from two bottles from the Whisky Shop. It's coming back in dribs and drabs....
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Bowmore?

Postby bjorn » Wed May 04, 2005 6:46 pm

Alright, this topic has gotten pretty far from my original question...I'm just wondering if the Bowmore FWP risk is worth taking...as a poor college student I rarely spend more than $20 on a bottle of whiskey which is why I've mostly been drinking bourbon so far...however, recently bourbon has been seeming a little less interesting and I wanted to spice things up with some scotch. Islay scotch. The Bowmore 12 yo has rated well with a lot of people (though I'm beginning to trust Michael Jackson's books a little less) and I was just about to buy a bottle when I heard of FWP. Maybe I should take this one to the polls...
Bjorn
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Wed May 04, 2005 7:40 pm

Hi Bjorn!
I think it's worth taking the risk. I'd actually say I'm sceptic towards the whole "FWP thing". I believe Admiral is one of the forum members whom has had quite a few Bowmore drinks and never discovered any FWP. I wonder if he did mention in an earlier thread that noone in Australia claimed to have found any FWP whatsoever?

But who knows - it seems to be fashionable these days to accuse Bowmore of this but I'd take the FWP claims with a pinch of salt.
I happen to have a bottle of Surf myself and I'll have a go at it the coming weekend to see for myself.

I guess the only one to answer your questin if it's worth it is yourself and noone else. If you plan to buy a single bottle and drink it only to replace with another brand I'd say you should perhaps buy something else and instead go for a Bowmore of any sort at your local bar. However, if your plan is to acquire a few bottles over time I'd say you should go for it. How else can one learn to like or dislike a whisky?

Good luck!

Skål!
Christian
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Postby hpulley » Wed May 04, 2005 10:28 pm

I've never found FWP in a bottle of 12yo Bowmore, only in older ones. Perhaps I was just lucky with the 12yos. That said, I'm scared enough of Bowmores that I haven't even bought a 12yo in a while.

Christian doesn't believe it but I've had some bad ones. Perhaps some just like very perfumey whisky but not me and it doesn't seem in character with what I like to think of as good Bowmore.

Harry
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed May 04, 2005 10:43 pm

I concur--I think FWP is likely the Bigfoot of the whisky world. Or maybe the Eastern Cougar. It may well exist, but most sightings are spurious. Frankly, Bowmore is one of the few distilleries whose product I actively dislike (to be fair, there are many expressions I haven't tried, and I haven't tried any in quite a while)--it tastes like a fake, half-baked Islay to me, all out of balance and lacking depth--like a slapdash watercolor painting in two colors. Admiral will disagree strongly, and that's what makes the world go 'round. But it seems a lot of people don't much care for it (just as a lot of people do), and the FWP thing has taken on a life of its own. I wouldn't worry about that. But I would recommend just about anything else. A matter of taste, and you won't know until you try it; but this is a pretty divisive one. Maybe save it for later.
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Postby hpulley » Wed May 04, 2005 10:47 pm

We are talking a lot about distilleries that are worse than they used to be or better and believe me, Bowmore used to be much better. It was my favorite Islay! What have they done to my poor Bowmore... FWP or not, it is not what it used to be. Try it now if you want and you may well like it but it is not the Bowmore of yore.

Harry
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Postby Lawrence » Wed May 04, 2005 11:12 pm

Tattiehead said:
It may well exist, but most sightings are spurious


Really?

And to answer the question of whether to buy the Bowmore or not I would answer "No' for now.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed May 04, 2005 11:38 pm

Lawrence wrote:Tattiehead said:
It may well exist, but most sightings are spurious


Really?


If we're talking about FWP, yes, I think so--a lot of people are turned off by Bowmore's floral quality, have heard of FWP, and assume that's it. That's not to say that it doesn't exist, juat that it's reported far more than it actually occurs. From the description I have heard of it as an overwhelming, plainly strange phenomenon, I feel quite certain I have never experienced it. I compared it once before here to an orgasm--if you've never had one, you're not quite sure what everyone is talking about. Once you have, there's no mistaking it.

If we're talking about eastern cougars, that's another story.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Wed May 04, 2005 11:56 pm

hpulley wrote:Christian doesn't believe it but I've had some bad ones. Perhaps some just like very perfumey whisky but not me and it doesn't seem in character with what I like to think of as good Bowmore.

Harry

Hi Harry!
I think I need to moderate myself as it would be clearly stupid of me not to believe someone who actually tasted it - especially persons like yourself that used to like Bowmore!

However, I do believe there are people out there uncritically judging it to be a bad whisky just because FWP has become todays black.
And it's very understandable if you are looking for something bad it'll turn out bad because your brain expect it to be - even if it didn't have to be unless you were made aware of it!
I'll try it this weekend and see for myself though.

Skål!
Christian
Last edited by Mr Fjeld on Thu May 05, 2005 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Wed May 04, 2005 11:59 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
Lawrence wrote:Tattiehead said:
It may well exist, but most sightings are spurious


Really?


I compared it once before here to an orgasm--if you've never had one, you're not quite sure what everyone is talking about. Once you have, there's no mistaking it.


....so that means that the ones wrongfully claiming it to be a case of FWP is faking an orgasm......

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu May 05, 2005 1:13 am

I've never had an eastern cougar.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri May 06, 2005 8:04 pm

Well, I just tasted the Bowmore Surf and although it isn't the best whisky I've tasted it's not the worst either. The soap was there only when I added aprx. 50/50 whisky/water. It was not unpleasant but strangely enough it reminds me of something I experienced from my childhood but cannot quite remember. Strange!
Anyway, it didn't put me off the idea of future purchases of Bowmore whiskies.

Skål!
Christian
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Postby Admiral » Sat May 07, 2005 2:43 pm

I believe Admiral is one of the forum members whom has had quite a few Bowmore drinks and never discovered any FWP. I wonder if he did mention in an earlier thread that noone in Australia claimed to have found any FWP whatsoever?


You have a good memory Christian! To give you the details, I've probably had about 25 or 30 different OB bottles of Bowmore in the last 5 years, and I've sampled from about 10 independent bottlings. 12yo, 17yo, Legend, Darkest, Dawn, Claret, Mariner, as well four or five private independent bottlings (each older than 20yo), and then four or five SMWS bottlings. And no, I've never experienced FWP in any of them. In fact, they've all been stellar drams, with the exception of my last bottle of Darkest, which was disappointing. And yes, we here in Australia are very much aware of FWP being complained of in other countries, and all my local whisky colleagues are on the look out for it. So far, none of us have struck a tainted bottle.

Tom and I are currently undertaking an international experiment. He's sent me a sample bottle of some Darkest he purchased in Belgium, which he believes could be FWP-tainted. I have been "researching" this sample bottle with some drams over the last few weeks, and I'm getting some whisky colleagues to come around next week and sample it also. I'll report back to you all shortly!

Tattie said:
Admiral will disagree strongly,


Correct!!!!! :D But for the record, I think Mr T is on the right track, and this is certainly the hypothesis that Tom and I are investigating. Bowmore is, and always has been, a fragrant malt. That's what makes it so enjoyable - the nose is always so complex. It offers the salt and peat of a great Islay whisky, but there's also some beautiful floral fragrant notes that a great Speysider would be proud of!!

Some people obviously try Bowmore, discover this fragrant quality, and then suddenly shout "FWP" simply because they've heard about it! I don't doubt FWP exists, but I do believe some innocent bottles have been falsely accused! :)

But in any event, Harry is right....the OB Bowmores are not what they used to be, but I still find them to be very enjoyable whiskies. I had some 17yo last night in fact, and it was bordering on wonderful!

Mr T....if you are able to do so, try getting hold of an SMWS Bowmore with about 20 years or so under its belt. Maybe liaise with Lawrence to assist you in obtaining it. I wholly believe your opinion of Bowmore will change for the better.

Cheers,
Admiral

P.S. Bjorn.....buy the 12yo!!! :D
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun May 08, 2005 6:59 am

Admiral wrote:Mr T....if you are able to do so, try getting hold of an SMWS Bowmore with about 20 years or so under its belt. Maybe liaise with Lawrence to assist you in obtaining it. I wholly believe your opinion of Bowmore will change for the better.


Okay...it's on my to-do list. (Of course, so is "Ring up Nicole Kidman"....)
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Postby Admiral » Sun May 08, 2005 7:55 am

Well....I know which one of those two will be easier to accomplish! :)

How much will you give me for Nic's phone number? :wink:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun May 08, 2005 8:13 am

More than I'd pay for a 20yo SMWS bottle of Bowmore! :D
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