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Distillery in Focus:           Bowmore
Region: Islay
Name: Bowmore Distillery (“the big hut” or "the big reef").
Status: Active
Website: www.bowmore.co.uk
Telephone: 01496 810671
Address: School street, Bowmore, Isle of Islay, PA43 7JS
Visitor centre: Yes
Owner: Morrison Bomwore Distillers Ltd, Suntory Ltd.
Established in 1779.
Stills: 2 Wash and 2 Spirit stills.
Percentage of single malts: 100%
Casks used for maturation are sherry (14%) and bourbon casks (86%). Since a few years, the policy of Bowmore is to used exclusively first fill cask

Regular Bottling:
The bowmore range was changed in 2007 later in February 2012.

Bowmore 12 YO, 40%
Bowmore Enigma 12 YO, 40%
Bowmore 15 YO Darkest (sherry finished), 40%
Bowmore 1990 Oloroso, 53.8%
Bowmore 18 YO, 43% (replacing the 17 YO version)
Bowmore 25 YO, 43% (replacing the 21 YO version)

Bowmore is also releasing some vintage editions, such as the Bowmore 1968 43.4% or the Bowmore Seadragon 30 YO edition 2006 43%. Bowmore are medium peated whiskyies, but the spirit distilled in 1968 was unpeated. The most famous limited edition of Bowmore is the Black Bowmore. The Black Bowmore were very dark coloured sherried Bowmore bottled in 1993 (2000 bottles, 29 YO), in 1994 (2000 b., 30 YO) and in 1995 (1812 b., 31 YO). Initally sold for about £125, it it now sold for £1500 when you can find it.

Contributed to the following blends: "Rob Roy", "Black bottle", "Islay Legend".

For tasted whiskies, click here

The pre-2007 Classic range of Bowmore

The Bomwmore ceramic range (started in the beginning 1990s)

History of the Bowmore Distillery

The distillery was built in 1779 and started operating the same year. The founder was David Simson (also spelled Simpson). In 1816 the proprietor of the distillery was John Simpson. Between 1825 and 1826 John Johnston is the owner and for the period of 1826-1837 John Simpson. Two merchants from Glasgow, William and James Mutter bought the distillery in 1837. The distillery remained under their name from 1852 until 1890 when the family firm went out of business. Over the following years, the distillery changed several times of owner and was put up for sale in 1922. In 1892, the name of Joseph Robert Holmes of Bowmore Distillery Co. is recorded. The distillery is purchased in 1925 by Sheriff’s Bowmore Distillery Ltd, which was acquired in 1950 by William Grigor and Sons Ltd of Inverness. The distillery was closed between 1939 and 1945 and was taken by the Coastal command.In 1963, Stanley P. Morrison Ltd acquired the distillery and the name of the company changed to Morrison Bowmore Distillers in 1987. Since 1994, Morrison Bowmore is property of the Japanese company Suntory Co.

At the start of the millennium, Bowmore has changed its cask policy and it is now using exclusively first fill casks.

The traditionnal floor malting of Bowmore in operation. Some of the washbacks
The four tradionnal copper stills and finally some of the most prestigious and oldest casks of Bowmore (some from 1958).

Source: www.bowmore.co.uk, Distillery Visit, The Scotch Whisky Book by Tom Bruce-Gardyne, The Making of Scotch whisky by John R. Hume & Michael S. Moss and The Scotch Whisky Distilleries by Misako Udo.
www.whisky-news.com©22 Feb. 2007

Tasted whiskies (117):

Official/Original bottlings (OB)  
Age  
Bowmore 7 YO Sheriff, OB, 43%. Rating: 19/20
Bowmore 7 YO Feis Ile 2007, OB, 57.1% Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 9 YO Sherry Matured, OB, 40%, B: 2016 Rating: 09/20
Bowmore 10 YO Devil’s Cask II, OB, 56.3%, B:2014. Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 10 YO Tempest Batch 1 , OB, 55.3%, B:2009 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 10 YO Tempest Batch 2, OB, 56% B: 2010 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 10 YO Tempest Batch 3, OB, 55.6%, B: 2011 Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 10 YO Tempest Batch 4 (IV), OB,  55.1%, B: 2012 Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 10 YO Tempest 5, OB, 55.9%, B: 2014. Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 12 YO "Dumpy", OB, 43%, B: 1980s Rating: 19/20
Bowmore Hand Filled First Fill Sherry Cask Feis Ile 2015, 12 YO, OB, 59.6%, B:2015 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 15 YO Decanter, OB, 40%, B:1988 Rating: 12/20
Bowmore 15 YO Darkest, OB, B: 2007, 43% Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 15 YO Laimrig Feis Ile 2011, OB, 54.4%, B: 2011. 500 b. Rating: 16/20
Bowmore 17 YO White Sand, OB, 43%, B:2014 Rating: 09/20
Bowmore 17 YO Virgin Oak & European Oloroso Casks Feis Ile 2016, OB, 54.9%, B:2016 Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 18 YO, OB, B: 2007, 43% Rating: 12/20
Bowmore 18 YO, OB, 43%, B:2014 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 25 YO, OB, 43%, B: 2005 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 25 YO Ceramic decanter"sea gulls", OB, 43% Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 25 YO Small Batch Release, OB, 43%, B: 2013. Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 30 YO Seadragon, OB, 43%, B:1990. Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 30 YO Seadragon, OB, 43%, B:1990. Rating: 18/20
   
Vintages  
Bowmore 1956, OB, 43%. Rating: 19/20
Bowmore 1963 Anniversary, 30 YO, OB, 50%, B: 1993 Rating: 19/20
Bowmore 1964 Bourbon, 38 YO, OB, 43.2%, 300 b Rating: 18/20
Bowmore White 1964, 43 YO, OB, 42.8%, B: 2008 Rating: 19/20
Bowmore Gold 1964, 44 YO, OB, 42.4% Rating: 19/20
Bowmore Black 1st Edition 1964, OB, 50% Rating: 19/20
Black Bowmore 2nd Edition 1964, OB, 50% Rating: 17/20
Black Bowmore 1964 Final Edition, OB, 49% Rating: 15/20
Bowmore Black Final (3rd) Edition 1964, OB, 49% Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 1965, 42 YO, OB, 43.6%, B: 2008, c.811, 42 b. Rating: 20/20
Bowmore 1965 for Soffianto Full Strength, OB, 57.8%, B: 1980s. Rating: 19/20
Bowmore 1966, OB, 43%. Rating: 16/20
Bowmore 1967, OB, 43% Rating: 19/20
Bowmore 1968 Anniversary, 32 YO, OB, 45.5%, B:2001. Rating: 19/20
Bowmore Bicentenary 1969, OB, 56.2%, B:1979, c. 322. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1972 for Globus, 35 YO, OB, B: 2007 Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 1974, OB, 43%, B: 1995 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 1981, 28 YO, OB, 49.6%, B: 2010, 402 b. Rating: 08/20
Bowmore 1988, OB, 47.8%, B:2017 Rating: 11/20
Bowmore 1989 Bourbon, 16 YO, OB, 51.8% Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1991 Port Matured, 16 YO, OB, 53.1% Rating: 16/20
Bowmore 1992 Wine Cask Matured, 16 YO, OB, 53.5%, B: 2008 Rating: 08/20
   
Unspecified  
Bowmist (Sheriff), 70 Proof, OB Rating: 16/20
Bowmore 100 Proof, OB, 57.1%, B: 2014 Rating: 10/20
Bowmore Bicentenary, OB, 43%, B: 1979. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1779-1979 Bicentenary, OB, 43%. Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 1779-1979 Bicentenary for Fecchio & Frassa, OB, 98.8°Proof /56.2%. Rating: 18/20
Bowmore Black Rock, OB, 40%, B:2014 Rating: 11/20
Bowmore The Devil’s Cask III, OB, 56.7%, B:2016 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore Gold Reef, OB, 43%, B:2014. Rating: 09/20
Bowmore Feis Ile 2015 Virgin Oak, OB, 55.7%, B:2015 Rating: 14/20
Bomwore Legend, OB, 40%, B: 2006 Rating: 10/20
Bowmore Mizunara Finish, OB, 53.9%, B:2015. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore Springtide, OB, 54.9%, B: 2014. Rating: 15/20
   

 

Independent bottlings (IB) and "anonymous Bowmore ?"  
   
Auxil (Fatima)  
Single Islay Scotch Whisky, Fatima (Auxil), 40%, B:1980s. Rating: 13/20
   
Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR)  
Bowmore 1994 for LMDW, BBR, 56.2%, B: 2009, cask 1686 Rating: 09/20
Bowmore 1996, 10 YO, BBR, B: 2006, 46%, casks 26018/9 Rating: 08/20
   
Blackadder  
Bowmore 1987, 21 YO, Blackadder, 48.7% Rating: 12/20
   
Cadenhead's and Duthie  
Bowmore 1964 for Corti, 22 YO, Duthie’s, 86 US proof. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1991, 14 YO, Cadenhead's, 56.1%, B: 2006, 294 b. Rating: 11/20
   
Dewar Rattray and A.D. Rattray  
Bowmore 1991, 15 YO, Dewar Rattray, 56.5%, B: 2006, c. 2053, 433 b. Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 1999,14 YO, A.D. Rattray, 58.8%. B: 2014, c. 2261, 287 b. Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 1996 For Germany, 17 YO, A.D. Rattray, 57.1%, B: 2014 Rating: 12/20
   
Douglas Laing and Clan Denny  
Bowmore OMC 1983, 25 YO, D. Laing, 50%, B: 2008, 259 b., Ref 4189 Rating: 10/20
Bowmore 1989 XOP Old Particular, 25 YO, D. Laing, 55.1%, B:2015. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1990 For Divo, 19 YO, Clan Denny, 53.8% Rating: 14/20
   
Duncan Taylor  
Bowmore 1966, 36 YO, D.Taylor, 43.26%, B:2002, c. 3306, 201 b. Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 1968, 37 YO D.Taylor, 40.5%. B: 2006, c. 3822 Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 1966 Peerless,40 YO, D. Taylor, 43.4%, B:2006, c. 3316, 151 b. Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 1966 Peerless, 41 YO, D. Taylor, 44.5%, B:2007, c. 3314, 162 b. Rating: 19/20
Bowmore 1969, 32 YO, D. Taylor, 41.2%, B: 2002, c 6087, 234 b. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1982 The Octave, Duncan Taylor, 50.6%, B: 2009, c. 378770. Rating: 13/20
Bowmore 1998 NC2, 10 YO, Duncan Taylor, 46%, B: 2008. Rating: 13/20
   
First Editions, The  
Bowmore 1997, 14 YO, The First Editions, 54.8%, B: 2012 Rating: 15/20
Bowmore 1999, 14 YO, The First Editions, 51.4%, B: 2014, 188 b. Rating: 13/20
   
Hart Brothers  
Bowmore 1965, Hart Brothers, 43%, B: 1998 Rating: 17/20
   
Jack Wiebers  
Bowmore 11 YO European Oak Old train line, JWWW, 52.9%, D: 1996, B: 2007 Rating: 17/20
   
Kingsbury  
Bowmore 1973, 25 YO, Kingsbury's, 46%. c. 3172. Rating: 19/20
   
Intertrade  
Bowmore 1965, 20 YO, Intertrade, 40%, B:1985

Rating: 18/20

   
Maltbarn  
Bowmore 2001, 11 YO, Maltbarn, 53.6%, B: 2012 Rating: 13/20
   
Malts of Scotland (MoS)  
Bowmore 1989, MoS, 51.2%. B: 2012 Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 2000, 8 YO, MoS, 60.1%, B: 2009, c. 800267, 215 b. Rating: 11/20
   
Murray McDavid  
Bowmore 2000 sherry, 7 YO, MMD, 46%, B: 2007. 2450 b. Rating: 12/20
   
Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS)  
Bowmore 3.118, 15 YO, SMWS, 1988 B: 2005, 55.6%, 299 b. Rating: 08/20
Bowmore 3.128, 10 YO, SMWS, 57.7%, D: 1997, B: 2007 Rating: 13/20
Bomwore 3.132, 10 YO, SWMS, 59.6%, D:1997 B:2007 Rating: 12/20
Bomwore 3.134, 7 YO, SMWS, 59.5%, B:2008, 268 b. Rating: 12/20
Bomwore 3.135, 7 YO, SMWS, 58%, D: 2000, B:2008, 256 b. Rating: 09/20
Bowmore 1997 “A walk on the wild side» 3.196, 14 YO, SMWS, 56.2%, B:2013 Rating: 11/20
Bowmore 1997 3.248 Like a hot coal in the mouth, 17 YO, SMWS, 57.7%, B:2015, 594 b. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1997 Doctors surgeries and flower shops 3.202, 15 YO, SMWS, 57.4%, B:2013. Rating: 15/20
   
Sestante  
Bowmore 1965, 20 YO, Sestante, 49.1%, B: 1985 Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1971, 14 YO, Sestante, 57.7%. Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1971 White Label, 14 YO, Sestante, 57.7% Rating: 16/20
Bowmore 1971, 18 YO, Sestante, 40%, B: 1990 Rating: 17/20
Bowmore 1973, 16 YO, Sestante, 62.8%, B: 1990 Rating: 18/20
   
Signatory / Prestonfield  
Bowmore 1965 Prestonfield, 22 YO, Signatory, 43% Rating: 18/20
Bowmore 1968, 31 YO, Signatory, 44%, B: 1999, c 3820 252b Rating: 19/20
Bowmore WoW 1970, 35 YO, 52.1%, Signatory, B:2006 Rating: 19/20
Bowmore 1972 Prestonfield for LMDW, 36 YO, Signatory, B: 2008 Rating: 16/20
Bowmore 1972 WoW, 36 YO, Signatory, 44.6%, B: 2009 Rating: 18/20
Islay (Bowmore) Prestontfield 1990, Signatory, 50.4%, B:2010 Rating: 14/20
Bowmore 1998 for LMDW, Signatory, 46%, B: 2010, c. 800191, 756 b. Rating: 14/20
Bowmore Prestonfield Malt, 10 YO, Signatory, 43% Rating: 15/20
   
Single malts of Scotland  
Bowmore 1985, Single Malts of Scotland, 54.9%, B: 2012 Rating: 08/20
Bowmore 1999, 15 YO, Single Malts of Scotland, 55.2%, B: 2014, 266 b. Rating: 15/20
   
Speciality drinks (Elements of Islay)  
Elements of Islay BW1 (Bowmore), Speciality Drinks, 52.9%, B: 2012 Rating: 15/20
   
Strathblair  
Bowmore 1993, 9 YO, Strathblair Collection, 44% Rating: 15/20
   
Whiskies of Scotland  
Bowmore 8 YO, Whiskies of Scotland. 46.2%, B: 2011 Rating: 15/20
   
The Whisky Agency (TWA) and Liquid Sun  
Bowmore 1989, 22 YO, Liquid Sun, 50.7%, B: 2011, 256 b. Rating: 11/20
Bowmore 1993 The Perfect Dram, 16 YO, TWA, 53.8%, B: 2010. 222 b. Rating: 15/20
   
Whiskybroker  
Bowmore 1997, 14 YO, Whiskybroker, 55%, B:2011, c.800220, 183 b. Rating: 16/20
   
The Whisky Cask  
Bowmore 2003, 10 YO, The Whisky Cask, 59.5%, B: 2013 Rating: 14/20
   
The Whisky Exchange & Speciality Drinks  
Bowmore 1993 The Whisky Show, 18 YO, TWE, 61.6%, B: 2011, 195 b. Rating: 16/20
   
The Whisky Fair  
Bowmore 1989 Joint bottling with Tokyo 3-rivers, 20 YO, The Whisky Fair, 51%, B: 2010. Rating: 14/20
   
Wilson & Morgan  
Bowmore 1998 for La Maison Du Whisky, 18 YO, Wilson & Morgan, 60.2%, B:2016 Rating: 16/20