Bowmore Surf

Bowmore Surf
Picture: Bowmore

Bowmore Surf is, or was, the entry of the Travel Retail range. It is named after the waves that constantly bash the famous warehouse n°1 and give the whisky its typical maritime Bowmore flavours. At least, that's what the marketing boys tell us.

This bottling was given the last honours on July 4, 2014, by HM Queen Elizabeth. She christened a new aircraft carrier and toasted to it with a 25yo Bowmore. Glad it was not the other way around...

Identity Card Bowmore Surf

  • Official bottling from Bowmore Distillery, Islay
  • NAS single malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 40% ABV
  • Travel Retail exclusive

Surf's Up!

Tasting notes

Surf sports a nice golden tan. Unfortunately, the colour is artificial. Thin and fast legs already prelude a soft texture.
Nose: The whisky honours its name and welcomes you with a lot of maritime notes and soft peat smoke. Salt and seaweed mix up nicely with rosemary and thyme. Combine this with bread yeast and aromas of industrial bread and it gives you some kind of uplifted supermarket bread. Lemon pickle gives it a fresh and pleasant sour touch.

This Bowmore is bottled at the minimum alcohol level. Therefore I did not add any water to it.

Taste: This is an easy drinking Bowmore with a light texture and sweet and salty notes. I'm mainly thinking of honey, salted caramel, pepper and a slight smoke taste from toasted oak. The salted caramel might as well be salted popcorn.

Finish: Sweet honey, citrus and a pinch of pepper are the signature of this medium finish. Towards the end, it gets slightly drier with some aromatic tobacco.

Bowmore Surf empty bottle


Bowmore Surf is a pleasant entry range whisky. Probably not older than 10 years old and mainly matured in refill bourbon casks. It's not overly complex but a decent introduction to Islay whiskies and an appetizer for true peat pleasure.

Bowmore Surf is far from the best Bowmore in town. Decent and pleasing but lacking a few degrees in ABV and depth on the palate. The Tempest and Laimrig batches stay on top of my Bowmore list. Slightly more expensive but way more value for money.

This one costed approximately €40 for a bottle of a litre. Ideal barbecue drammage when quantity primes over quality.