Only Bowmore I ever had was the 12. BTW, it would be a good stepping stone from whatever Scotch one fancies to the southern Islays. It's a quality drink but for $4/5 more the Ardbeg or Laphroaig 10s are a much better deal. I just find it boring compared to the bigger Islays.
The Laphroaig 10 has an off taste to it for me. Just an odd, overcooked vegetables note that is in there with the likeable flavors.