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Bowmore Distillery is situated on the shores of Loch Indaal, right in the heart of the lovely town of Bowmore, which means great reef or Sea Rock. A few distinctive characters of Bowmore Single Malt Whiskies are smoke, salt and sea-weed, a great combination and when you look to the distillery from the pier in Bowmore you understand how these tastes end up in your dram.
John Simpson started the distillery on a small scale in 1779, and therefore Bowmore Distillery is the oldest legal Distillery on Islay. Bowmore Distillery changed hands in 1837 when William and James Mutter took over and expanded the distillery. More recently the Morrison family owned it until the take over by the Japanese Company Santoro. Bowmore is one of three remaining Islay Distilleries which still have floor maltings, with phenol levels of 18/25 p.p.m.
Bowmore is known for producing a wide variety of whiskies of different ages and finishes. While this practice may be considered a marketing ploy rather than an effective technique for improving quality, it has enabled the company to offer an eclectic range of taste and price. Bowmore whisky is milder than the three southern Kildalton distilleries and as said above, it has distinct peaty and salty flavours. The taste and location fit perfectly together. Both in the middle of the Souther and Northern distilleries on the island.
Recently the visitor centre has had a major refurbishment as well as the brand name of Bowmore, which has changed to Bowmore, The Original Islay Malt, referring to Bowmore's old tradition on Islay.
Distillery Info, Tours and visitor centre opening hours
Visitor Centre Opening Hours
Easter to June: Mon to Sat 09:00 - 17:00
July, Aug & Sep: Mon to Sat: 09:00 - 17:00 Sun 12:00 to 16:00
October to Easter: Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:00. Sat 09:00 - 12:00
Distillery Tours (£6)
Easter to June: 10:00, 11:00, 14:00 & 15:00
July, Aug & Sep: 10:00, 11:00, 14:00 & 15:00. Sun: 13:00 & 14:00
October to Easter: 10:30 & 15:00. Sat 10:00
Bowmore Distillery offers a number of special tours. For up to date info please download the current Distillery Leaflet
Visitor Centre + 44 (0) 1496 810 441
Bowmore Distillery on Google Streetview
Related info: Alfred Barnard's visit to Bowmore Distillery in the 1880s