Discover the differences between Bowmore 12 vs Laphroaig 10 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!
- Nose: Smoke, pineapple, orange.
- Palate: Medium body, ripe fruit, honey, vanilla, iodine.
- Finish: Short, smoke, mineral, charred oak.
Nose hits with a strong smoky note from the peats used to dry the malted barley at first, followed by a hint of pineapple and citrus.
On the palate, Bowmore has a medium body providing a pleasant mouthfeel. On the first sip I get ripe fruit and honey, along vanilla, a touch of iodine typical of Islay Single Malts and just a tad of smoke.
The finish is short, with a subtle hint of smoke, a mineral note and charred oak from the bourbon barrels in which it was aged.
This is a good pour for those who want a subtle hit of smoke as this whisky is quite restrained when compared to other Islay releases as Bowmore only uses half as much peat to dry the malted barley.
Bowmore 12 lacks proof as it would be immensely better at 90 proof (45% ABV) and the finish is a bit short but a pleasant sip nonetheless, as it does not have any off-putting note and doesn’t feel warm providing a good experience.
There are a few facts worth knowing about this Scotch:
- Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).
- Aged for a dozen years using ex-sherry and ex-bourbon barrels.
- Gold medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
- Gold at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2013.
- Bowmore is one of the few distilleries that continues to hand-turn, malt, and peat its own barley.
- Bowmore was founded in 1779 being the oldest distillery of Islay and the second oldest in Scotland.
- Nose: Smoke, caramel, oak, coffee.
- Palate: Full-bodied, charred oak, smoke, chocolate, honey, vanilla, iodine.
- Finish: Long, smoke, toffee.
Laphroaig does not smell nice as it offers a rubber note up-front. There are also hints of smoke, caramel, oak and espresso coffee.
On the palate, you get a blast of smoke and oak char up-front. As you let it develop, it becomes remarkably sweet, rich in vanilla, caramel and chocolate.
Finish is long, smoky and mostly sweet with a rich mineral note to it and something that reminds of seaweed.
This single malt is a flavorful and intense whisky with a smoky character and some unique tasting notes that might be a bit intimidating for someone new to this type of whisky.
Laphroaig 10 is really good, but don’t expect to like it on the first date. It’s a bit demanding requiring at persistent drinker to fully appreciate it. But once you get acquainted with it it’s unlikely you will ever enjoy a lesser dram.
I’ve included Laphroaig among the best 10 year whiskies.
There are a few facts worth knowing about this whisky:
- Bottled at 86 proof (43% ABV).
- Aged for 10 years in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks.
- Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
- Named in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible as 2019’s Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Years & Under.
- Laphroaig Distillery was founded in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston. It is named after the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the island of Islay.
- During Prohibition, it was one of the few liquors legally imported into the United States, as it was considered a medicinal spirit!
Bowmore 12 vs Laphroaig 10: Price comparison
Prices are approximate and stated in USD:
Bowmore vs Laphroaig: Which is better?
Bowmore is much lighter on the smoke
|Whiskey||Bowmore 12||Laphroaig 10|
- Bowmore is a safer bet as it’s much easier to like than the Laphroaig 10 which is a smoky bomb.
- Laphroaig welcomes you with a blast of smoke to later reward you with beautiful sweetness but it’s not easy to go past that initial brick.
- If you are new to smoky whisky you will be better served with the Bowmore.
- If you are a well-traveled aficionado the Laphroaig is a more satisfying malt.
I am a bar and liquor shop owner in Oaxaca, Mexico where I have tasted hundreds of different spirits; perhaps more than I should!