Well, if you're going to serve 'em a peaty whisky then you may as well do it properly! And if it turns out that nobody else likes it then, as you bought it, you get whatever's left... and as I much prefer Laphroaig 10 to Bowmore 12, my vote goes with the Laphroaig.
But I noticed two things. First, as time went on, I noticed more and more complexities in the Laphroaig, sweet notes, but also salty notes. There is a bunch more happening in there. In Bowmore, I notice nothing more than what I initially found, which is pleasant.
Second, I noticed that if I decide to have a night where I have several different drams, that Bowmore simply doesn't hold up if it is tasted after other whiskies. If I have it first, it's nice. But if I have it after something else, it tastes quite characterless (I have observed this phenomenon tasting Bowmore after Bunahabbhain 18, Balvenie DW, Caol Ila 12, Highland Park 12, Ardbeg 10, and indeed Laphroaig 10). Laphroaig, on the other hand, keeps its character, and holds up.
All that to say, I think they're both nice, but rate Laphroaig 10 much higher.
As it has been said before Bowmore 12 is pleasant, but lacks the complexity of the standard Laphroaig.
I haven't found one I'd buy a second time. I like the Bunny 12 better, for that matter. Or the Islay Mist.
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