Bowmore Distillery

Islay, United Kingdom

Bowmore distillery produces scotch whisky on the isle of Islay. It was established in 1779 by a local merchant, John P. Simpson, before passing into the ownership of the Mutter family, a family of German descent. James Mutter, head of the family, also had farming interests and was Vice Consul representing the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, and Brazil through their Glasgow consulates. There are no records that pinpoint the date Mutter acquired the distillery from Simpson. Mutter would introduce a number of innovative processes to the distillery during his tenure and even had a small iron steam ship built to import barley and coal from the mainland and to export the whisky to Glasgow.

The distillery was bought from the Mutter family in 1925 by J.B. Sheriff & Co. and remained under their ownership until being purchased by Inverness-based William Grigor & Son, Ltd. in 1950. During the World Wars the Bowmore Distillery halted production, and hosted the RAF Coastal Command for much of World War II, Coastal Command operated flying boats from Loch Indaal on Anti-submarine warfare missions.

Bowmore Distillery sources as much barley as possible from on the island of Islay, but there are insufficient quantities produced to satisfy the distillery's demand, so barley is also imported from the mainland. The distillery retains a traditional floor malting, but this also lacks sufficient capacity; the barley imported from the mainland is normally already malted. The distillery has an annual capacity of 2,000,000 litres, with fermentation undertaken in traditional wooden washbacks before the liquid is passed through two wash stills and then through two spirit stills.



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Founded: 1779
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in United Kingdom


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User Reviews

Neil Webb (2 years ago)
Visited the bar at Bowmore Distillery on Saturday. Extremely impressed by Rob who was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Comfortable relaxed surrounding and great view. If you visit Islay you will almost certainly be in Bowmore at some point so do make a bit of time to taste the great whisky from there. I took this just after sunrise, RainBowmore.
TheArcader (2 years ago)
Ahh Bowmore... An awesome experience! Fantastic staff, very friendly and enthusiastic about the whisky they were selling! I was considering buying a bottle of 18 year old and they gave me a taster... I was won over, picked up a bottle for myself and two more for my uncle. (Plus two 10yr & two 15yr) Great whisky, great customer service I'll be back next time I visit Islay! Disabled access to the bar wasn't good but the shop access was good!!
Janet Kar (2 years ago)
Fantastic experience. Bowmore is the oldest distillery on Islay, now owned by Beam Suntory. The tour included a visit of their barley malting room, kiln, fermentation and distillation room. We also get to visit the first distillery warehouse on site! They have many rare bowmores at their bar. Their bar also opens til 4pm.
Scott Ryan (2 years ago)
Informative tour and Cat is a great tour guide. I have a much better appreciation of what goes into every bottle. Plus Bowmore is a great tasting whisky! I Had a wonderful experience.
Simon Lakin (2 years ago)
Fabulous distillery, free dram when you book a table in the tasting room, excellent choice of fabulous whiskies. Lovely staff.
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