Distillery of the week: Bowmore Distillery, Islay

Looking for that wonderful Islay flavour but tempered with wood? Then Bowmore is what you want.

Published 2nd Mar 2015
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

A slick operator, Bowmore has achieved rapid success through it's successful capturing of the export market. One of the first major players to invest in travel retail it is a decision that  has paid the distillery back ten-fold.

It is also one of the few distilleries that still retains a malting floor with almost half of its maltings produced in-house, the rest being sourced from external producers. Bowmore usually has a phenol level of around 25 ppm which means it sits quite happily in the centre of the peat scale.
Founded in 1779 by John Simpson, Stanley Morrison purchased the distillery for the princely sum of £117,000 in 1963 before going on to form Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd.
The excellent synergy of wood maturation and peated malt make Bowmore the ideal distillery for those who like to have their cake and eat it.


Bowmore Legend: A no age statement whisky, matured in Bourbon casks, the Tempest is the lightest of the Bowmore offerings, sweet, briney and a little smokey. This a great whisky for those looking for something light but still on the smokey side.

Bowmore 12: Wonderfully described on the Bowmore website as vanilla ice cream at a beach bonfire, this is a great of example of how balance between great wood and peat can create a wonderful and complex whisky.

Bowmore 15 Darkest: Probably the most recognised bottling in the Bowmore range, the Darkest is matured first in bourbon casks before being transferred to Oloroso sherry casks for its final three years. A wonderful taste of smoked chocolate and fruit.

Bowmore 18: Produced in a far more limited capacity than its companions the 18 year old is a luxurious whisky, perfect for anyone looking for a subtly smoked and massively fruity Islay malt.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
Copyright ©2024 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram