3 June 2019

Bowmore 10yo – Dark & Intense

We love Bowmore in general, but we struggle with some of their latest expressions. This 10yo is originally released for the travel retail market and is labeled ‘Dark & Intense’. Here begins our struggle, if the dark part refers to the colour, that mainly is because of the caramel Bowmore used. As for the intense part, I don’t know if we’d call a 40% ABV with a thin body ‘intense’.

But as always, we keep an open mind. We look at the taste and the price, and the latter is pretty low. We were able to pick up this liter bottle for €35. Nothing to complain about that part. This whisky has matured on traditional hogsheads and sherry casks. The taste:

Tasting notes


Deep red, due to the caramel.


Kiwi, salt, tar, candy, red fruits juice, pineapple juice, gummy bears, cherries and damp wood. A lovely fruity nose to be honest! If you’re a sweet tooth, that is.


Very soft and easy on the tongue. Too much water for our liking, you’ll have to take a big gulp to taste the notes which are fresh, sweet and salty, with citrus, pineapple juice, kiwi and a warm whiff of tarry peat.


A subtle and easy finish with lots of fruity notes. Sure we aren’t tasting lemonade? Raspberry, gummy bears, mango, dried cherries, apple, grass, citrus and sweet smoke.

It’s a typical Bowmore, with its fruity, tropical and slightly salty notes. The sherry cask makes it sweeter. However, it feels thin and it’s hard to look past the incredibly fake colour. It it worth the money? €35 for a liter is a good deal, but it doesn’t justify the taste for me.

It certainly has the potential of being a good entry level Islay. Getting rid of the caramel, the misleading subtitle and bottling it at a minimum of 43% would make me reconsider. Thoughts?