Bowmore Enigma 12 Years Review

Country: Scotland
Brand: Bowmore Enigma
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Region: Islands (Islay)
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol: 40%

Colour: Amber/Gold  (Contains added Caramel for colouring).

Nose: Peat, Leather, Medicine, Cigar Smoke and Ashes. But Sweet Sherry- Wood – Dried Fruit - and Salt tones as there as well right from the beginning.

Taste: First Smoke and a bit of Iodine, followed by some ripe Fruit, Oak and Butter not unlike an aged Bordeaux type of Wine.

Finish: The (Cigar) smoke lingers on for quite some time and is certainly not unpleasant. Dry and Salty. Some Oak and maybe Lemon or Ginger there as well. After 10 minutes dark bitter Chocolate appeared. Quite amazing!

Rating: 88 

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 – Finish: 22 – Overall: 22

General Remarks
I added a teaspoon of water that brought down the Smoke in the nose while adding slightly sweet Oak. Taste wise the Leather (like Horse-Upholstery) was more in balance with the sweet tones. However, with the added water, the finish is shorter and the Smoke disappears rather quickly.

Drinking Experience Neat: Very interesting. Quite different from your easy going blended whisky. If you like the Smoky character of this malt on first tasting, I would not add water.

Conclusion: Not for beginners! It’s sometimes like drinking a Cigar! But certainly a Single Malt I will drink again.

Jan van den Ende                                                                August 12,  2011

Attention: After having opened the bottle the Smoke, Peat and Leather gradually diminish and the whisky becomes smooth and more Malty. I would say that it's advisable to drink the bottle within a month or so if you want to fully enjoy the true Islay character. After two months the spirit, while maintaining some Leather and Ashes, slowly drifts towards a more Speyside type of whisky with a slight bitterness in the finish that I don't care for. 

At all times keep your whisky bottles in the upright position and avoid exposure to sun and extreme temperatures.

Jan van den Ende                                                                  November 2011


Robert Anthony said...

This post will discover the question: does age issue when it comes to individual malt Whisky whiskies. It seems to be that there are two ideologies about them - age does issue and age makes no difference. Why is this so? What are the differences? Study on. crossword puzzle help

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Robert, thanks for commenting and sorry for the late reply! Whisky does not necessary get better with age but it changes. Around 70% of the flavours and aromas in whisky are created by the contact between Spirit and Wood. Therefore young whiskies usually show the usually fruity distillery character and the Alcohol while older whiskies have more complex Aromas and Flavours. Too much years in the cask can cause the whisky to become too woody. I have found over time that a maturation of around 15 years create the most complex and good tasting Single Malts. But it's always a question of personal taste of course. Cheers, Jan.