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Bowmore

The River Laggan journeys many miles through Islay, cutting its course through ferrous rocks, peat bog, moss and grassy mound, ‘til it finds itself at the Western harbour town of Bowmore, Islay’s capital. The distillery produces some two million litres annually and adheres to strict traditions; production methods have scarcely changed in two centuries. Founded in 1779, by John Simpson, Bowmore is Islay’s oldest distillery. Following purchase in 1837, by William and James Mutter, the distillery was resold in 1892 to the Bowmore Distillery Company Ltd.

Changing hands twice during the late 1920s, in 1963 the distillery was purchased for £117,000 by Stanley P Morrison. Bowmore has had a long affiliation with Japanese pioneers Suntory, who acquired a stake in the company during the late 1980s. In 1994, they bought the company outright. Bowmore enjoys a curious middle-ground as far as flavour is concerned; far from being a lighter offering - à la Northern Islay-based Bunnahabhain - the spirit is not as heavily peated nor as smoky, as its three Southern cousins surrounding Port Ellen.

Today, Bowmore produces a heralded malt and the second best-selling Islay whisky after the leviathan Laphroaig. The range is quite large and independent bottlings have been released as well as a core range of acclaimed house bottlings, including the rare 1993 released Black Bowmore, a 1964 vintage whose initial asking price was around £2,500.

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About Bowmore Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01496 810441

Distillery Founded

1779

Distillery Capacity

2 000 000 litres

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Address

Bowmore, Islay, Argyll

Distillery Owner

Morrison Bowmore Distillers (Suntory)

Distillery Address

School Street, Bowmore, Islay, Argyll PA43 7GS

Distillery Website

www.bowmore.com

1779

Bowmore Distillery is founded by John Simpson and becomes the oldest Islay distillery.

1837

The distillery is sold to James and William Mutter of Glasgow.

1892

After additional construction, the distillery is sold to Bowmore Distillery Company Ltd, a consortium of English businessmen.

1925

J. B. Sheriff and Company takes over.

1929

Distillers Company Limited (DCL) takes over.

1950

William Grigor & Son takes over.

1963

Stanley P. Morrison buys the distillery

1989

Japanese Suntory buys a 35% stake in Morrison Bowmore.

1993

The famous, legendary Black Bowmore is launched. The recommended price is £100 (today it is at least ten times that if it can be found). Another two versions are released 1994 and 1995.

1994

Suntory now controls all of Morrison Bowmore.

1995

Bowmore is nominated ‘Distiller of the Year’ in the International Wine and Spirits competition.

1996

A Bowmore 1957 (38 years) is bottled at 40,1% but is not released until 2000.

1999

Bowmore Darkest with three years finish on oloroso barrels is launched. A Claret cask strength is also released in 12,000 bottles.

2000

Bowmore Dusk with two years finish in Bordeaux barrels is launched.

2001

Bowmore Dawn with two years finish on port pipes is launched. A bottle from 1890 is sold at an auction in Glasgow and brings in £14,300 which is a new world record. The Manager Jim McEwan moves to Bruichladdich.

2002

A 37 year old Bowmore from 1964 and matured in fino casks is launched in a limited edition of 300 bottles (recommended price

2003

Another two expressions complete the wood trilogy which started with 1964 Fino - 1964 Bourbon and 1964 Oloroso.

2004

Morrison Bowmore buys one of the most outstanding collections of Bowmore Single Malt from the private collector Hans Sommer. It totals more than 200 bottles and includes a number of Black Bowmore.

2005

Bowmore 1989 Bourbon (16 years) and 1971 (34 years) are launched.

2006

Bowmore 1990 Oloroso (16 years) and 1968 (37 years) are launched. A new and upgraded visitor centre is opened.

2007

Dusk and Dawn disappear from the range and an 18 year old is introduced. New packaging for the whole range. 1991 (16yo) Port and Black Bottle are released.

2008

White Bottle and a 1992 Vintage with Bourdeaux finish are launched.

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Tasting Sets
An 8 year old Bowmore distilled in Winter 1998. This was aged for 8 years, and it was finished in a Gabriel Meffre Rhone Valley wine cask (number 3895) before bottling in Autumn of 2007.  More info
$47.55
A sherry cask Bowmore distilled in 1989. The cask was selected by Jim McEwan and it was bottled at the Bruichladdich distillery in 2010. This is part of a release of 479 bottles.  More info
This was distilled at Bowmore in 1998, and it was aged in refill sherry cask number 800017 before bottling by Adelphi.  More info
A 9 year old Bowmore from that was bottled by Douglas Laing. This was selected for its flavour qualities that make it the perfect partner for a good cigar.  More info
This was distilled in March of 1997, and it was aged in refill hogshead 3538 for 10 years before bottling in May 2008 by Douglas Laing.  More info
One of 306 bottles yielded at 54.7% ABV. The younger bowmores from Adelphi are a stark contrast to the distillery's own younger releases, and stand up well to the (very impressive) Tempest releases.  More info
A single-cask bottling of Bowmore named for John Milroy.  More info
$123.51
A single-cask bottling of Islay's Bowmore bottled with the approval of Whisky Legend John Milroy.  More info
$131.34
A smoky single malt distilled at Bowmore in 1994 and bottled by BBR.  More info
$98.76
Vintage Bowmore from 1999, bottled at Cask strength by Berry Brothers and Rudd.  More info
$82.79
Matured in a Sherry Butt for 23 years, this single-cask whisky is part of an outturn of only 218 bottles.  More info
Distilled at Bowmore on the 19th April 1994 and aged in two hogsheads before bottling by Signatory on the 12th October 2010. A release of 742 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$70.58
Smooth and well balanced 17 year old Bowmore from Cadenhead's Duthies range. A release of just 573 bottles.  More info
25 year old Bowmore, this was distilled on the 22nd November 1985, and aged in a single bourbon barrel (number 32212) before bottling on the 24th November 2010. A release of 279 numbered bottles at...  More info
Cask strength Bowmore, this was distilled in 1991, and aged solely in port pipes. A release of 18,000 bottles.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Bowmore 29 Year Old 1982
(70cl, 47.30%)
An astounding 2011 edition from Bowmore. This was distilled in 1982, and comes packaged in a very handsome wooden box, with its own leather strap. Each bottle comes with a certificate of authenticity...  More info
This Bowmore was aged in a sherry cask for 9 years. It was taken for additional maturation at the Bruichladdich warehouses, before bottling in 2009. A release of 1,600 bottles from Murray McDavid.  More info
$64.57
A very rich, charactered 12 year old Bowmore, bottled by top bottlers, Alchemist. Very distinct, and uniquely Bowmore.  More info
$64.57
This was distilled at Bowmore in 2002, and it was initially aged in bourbon casks. It was then taken to Bruichladdich, where it was finished for a few years in Chateau Latour casks. A release of 2,100...  More info
$62.92
A 30 year old Bowmore, packaged in a handsome opaque black ceramic decanter bottle, with a beautifully painted sea dragon on the bottle. It has a dragon on it, so you know it must be good.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$828.86
What a very handsome and shiny wooden box this comes in. Behold it and marvel at its fine craftsmanship. The whisky contained within was distilled on the 15th September 1970 and aged for 40 years in...  More info
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