The Distillery

Bowmore is one of those names that everybody vaguely familiar with whisky will recognize. No wonder! It has a long and rich history and can boast that it was the first distillery on Islay to obtain legal status back in 1779.

This Islay distillery sits on the shore of Loch Indaal in the centre of the town of Bowmore from which the distillery takes its name. Bowmore is also distinguished for producing the oldest ever Islay malt, being a 1957 malt bottled at 54 years old in a crystal decanter with a price tag of around £100,000. That's expensive whisky!

The company has changed hands a number of times in the 200+ years since it was founded. The current owner is the Japanese beverage giant Suntory, who acquired 100% ownership in 1994 after an initial purchase of a 34% stake five years earlier.

On top of owning Bowmore, Suntory also owns Laphroaig, Ardmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch along with American and Japanese brands.

The distillery is one of the few that still have a working malting on site, malting a large portion of the barley which goes into making its whisky.

Style wise Bowmore is peated and lighter than many of the heavier Islay whiskies. Typical flavours are light smoke, sherry sweetness and dried fruits but many older bottlings also contain floral notes, especially violets. While these are the traditional flavours of Bowmore, it's worth remembering that they might not be the ones that you find in indie bottlings!

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This beautiful Bowmore 17 Year Old was distilled on Islay in 1996 and matured in a single cask before being bottled for the Japanese market. It brings notes of freshly cut grass, light citrus fruits, gentle peat smoke and subtle herbal tones. It’s a wonderful whisky of which only 68 bottles were released, making it […]

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This outstanding Bowmore 30 Year Old is a rare single cask distillery bottling that was distilled at the world famous Islay distillery in 1989 and matured in a refill bourbon cask before bottling in 2019. It’s showcases a complexity only found in well-aged, carefully crafted whiskies, bringing summer fruits, gentle flowers, soft peat smoke and […]

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This bottling of Bowmore Vault Edition was the first release in the series, launched in 2016. The series explored four different characteristics that whiskies pick up in the Bowmore No.1 Vaults maturing warehouse, with this first edition exhibiting the effects of the Atlantic sea waves crashing off the warehouse walls. Notes of sea salt, light […]

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