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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.

Bowmore Whisky Distillery

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About Bowmore Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01496 810441

Distillery Founded


Distillery Capacity

2 000 000 litres

Distillery Status


Distillery Address

Bowmore, Islay, Argyll

Distillery Owner

Morrison Bowmore Distillers (Suntory)

Distillery Address

School Street, Bowmore, Islay, Argyll PA43 7GS

Distillery Website


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


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


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


J. B. Sheriff and Company takes over.


Distillers Company Limited (DCL) takes over.


William Grigor & Son takes over.


Stanley P. Morrison buys the distillery


Japanese Suntory buys a 35% stake in Morrison Bowmore.


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.


Suntory now controls all of Morrison Bowmore.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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

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Origin Gin
A 15 year old released in January of 2007 from the legendary Bowmore distillery in Islay. This single malt has enjoyed maturation in Oloroso sherry casks.  More info
User Rating:  (24 Reviews)
From the oldest distillery on Islay comes the fifth release of Bowmore's 10 year old Tempest single malt Scotch whisky. This annual release is matured in first-fill bourbon casks and presented at cask...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
Bowmore 12 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
The heart of the Bowmore range, the 12 year old exhibits some beautiful coastal notes with a gentle peat, it is the balance that the floral element presents that makes this a great entry bottling for...  More info
User Rating:  (66 Reviews)
Bowmore Small Batch is an elegant Islay single malt, when gets matured in both first-fill and second-fill bourbon barrels. A great introduction to Bowmore's lovely smoky flavour profile - the Small...  More info
User Rating:  (7 Reviews)
Bowmore 25 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A 25 year old from the Bowmore distillery aged in American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks. The sherry influence combines wonderfully with the coastal, smoky distillery style to create a sublime aged...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
A 1996 vintage bottling of single cask Bowmore, matured for over 19 years! Bottled by the good folk at Adelphi, the outturn was 214 bottles.  More info
Bowmore 18 Year Old
(70cl, 43%)
A comparatively recent release from Bowmore, the 18 year old was launched in January of 2007 to replace the 17 year old. A perfumed, fruity offering from the Islay distillery.  More info
User Rating:  (12 Reviews)
From the Speciality Drinks Periodic-Table-influenced Elements of Islay range comes the fifth edition of "Bw". Good balance of citrus fruit and classic Bowmore smoke with this one.  More info
An independently bottled Bowmore single malt, drawn from two refill Sherry hogsheads by Signatory! The whisky was distilled by Bowmore in October 2002 and bottled in March 2015 without any chill...  More info
An independent bottling of 15 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, presented as part of the Old Particular range from Douglas Laing. This Islay treat was distilled back in September 1999 (when...  More info
Fan's of Bowmore's wonderful peaty Islay whisky will be rather excited about this - an independent bottling of 23 year old Bowmore single malt, bottled by Montgomerie's for their Rare Select range. It...  More info
Released as part of the Tantalus collection, this is an incredible 31 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky which has been bottled by Duncan Taylor. As with all Tantalus releases, it comes with a...  More info
A Douglas Laing bottling of 25 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, matured in a single refill hogshead cask. Back in the November 1989, this whisky was distillery on the isle of Islay and left...  More info
Bowmore Gold Reef 1l
(100cl, 43%)
From Bowmore's travel retail selection, unveiled in 2014, the Gold Reef is a gorgeous coastal dram, matured mostly in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. A fantastic Islay single malt.  More info
This is #07 in La Maison du Whisky's The Ten range - a 2002 vintage Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky, bottled in 2014. The Ten series features a selection of whiskies which have been arranged in...  More info
From Speciality Drinks' Elements of Islay range comes Bw4, an independently bottled single malt Scotch whisky from a famous Islay distillery. You might have heard of them, in fact. You might even be...  More info
A 23 year old single malt from the Bowmore distillery, aged completely in port casks to compliment the floral and peaty flavours the Islay distillery is known for. Because it's such a special release...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
From one of the excellent distilleries on the Island of Islay comes this edition of Mackillop's Choice. Give a warm welcome to the Bowmore 1990, which was distilled in April 1990 and bottled in July...  More info
From the Rest & Be Thankful independent bottling range comes a 25 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky. It was distilled in April 1990 and set aside to age in a single bourbon cask until April...  More info
From one of the most well-loved Scotch distillery - Bowmore out on the Isle of Islay - comes this 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky, bottled as part of the Old Malt Cask by Hunter Laing. It was...  More info
Strictly 1 Per Customer

A cask strength, non-chillfiltered, Spanish-Sherry-butt-finished 15 year old single malt Scotch whisky from the Bowmore distillery. As Mr. Burns would say, "Excellent!" It...  More info
This one certainly is 'A Rare Find' indeed - An independent bottling of 30 year old Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky! It was distilled back in March 1985, matured in cask #1062 and bottled in May...  More info
Single malt Scotch whisky from Bowmore distillery on Islay, made up of different vintages from the 1990s (so around 15-25 years old), finished in Japanese Mizunara oak! This is the first time that...  More info
Bowmore Black Rock 1l
(100cl, 40%)
A travel retail release from Bowmore, Black Rock is matured predominantly in Spanish ex-Sherry casks for a sweet-but smoky dram. Plenty of rich fruit, chewy vanilla and peat smoke, all well balanced...  More info
A Signatory bottling of two consecutive hogsheads of Bowmore single malt distilled in 1998. The total outturn was 244 bottles.  More info
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