Another whisky showdown folks. Two classic whiskies, one purpose: declare a victor. This showdown is between Bunnahabhain Cruach Mhona and Bowmore 12. Both are peated products and well received by this whisky fan, but how do they compare? Time to find out.
The colour difference is stark. The Bunnahabhain in so light, it looks almost transparent. There’s just a little yellow colour in there, like a very light vegetable oil. The Bowmore is golden, and despite the expression “never judge a book by its cover”, looks like a more appetizing drink.
The legs run thin and quick on the Cruach Mhona against the comparatively thicker and slower Bowmore 12.
On the nose, more alike than different at first. They are both unmistakeably peated and smokey. The Bowmore gives off fruit however while the Bunnahabhain exudes the sea, full of salt, seawater, seaweed, and memories of a rainy day on the beach.
The palate is interesting. The Bowmore starts grainy in texture, peated of course, but fruity and sweet at the same time. The Bunnahabhain is chewy in texture and it quickly expresses its complexity is in its transition from peated, to salty, to sweet, and peppery.
The finish on the Bowmore is shorter and sweeter. The smoke lingers, however, and brings with it some citrus notes. The Bunnahabhain leaves smoke and peat, pepper and salt, spices, and some wood notes. There is a bit of sweet in there as well, the long term payoff being the delightful flavour of red liquorice.
So there you have it. Two fine whiskies worthy of a permanent place in your collection. I will give the edge to the Cruach Mhona on this one. Bunnahabhain’s product is more complex and more satisfying. Grab it next time you travel.