Comprehensive website including a guide to Bowmore whiskies, Virtual tour of the distillery, guide to tasting whisky, where to find Bowmore whisky. Bowmore have an Inner Core that can be joined on the website - but it's by invitation only.
Bowmore's Visitor Centre is open Mon-Sat all year + Sundays from April to September - see website for full details. Book on the number above - cost £6. Craftsman's Tours must be booked in advance - in depth tour including the No.1 vault - warehouse below sea level, "where you'll be able to savour some very special Bowmore indeed".
You can also stay at Bowmore Distillery - they have a number of self
catering options within the distillery premises - with a bottle of 12yo and a tour of the distillery included.
Bowmore (emphasise the second syllable) is the oldest of Islay's distilleries - and one of the oldest in Scotland. Although the official date things started in Bowmore is 1779 when the distillery got its license, distilling is thought to have started as early as 1766 when the village of Bowmore was expanded. The founder was David Simpson and it remained in his family until 1837 when acquired by the Mutter family, who sold it on to Joseph Holmes in 1892. In 1925 JB Sheriff & Co took over for 25 years when William Grigor & Sons took charge, but only until 1963 when Stanley P Morrison Ltd became the owners. They doubled the number of stills, and added a visitor centre Morrison Bowmore are still the owners of the distillery, albeit as a subsidiary of Japanese giant Suntory (since 1994).
The six washbacks in the main area of the distillery are named after the owners - see slideshow, below right.
The Distillery's waste heat is used to heat the Swimming Pool in the Mactaggart Leisure Centre which is housed in an old warehouse donated by the distillery.
Malt Madness, Undiscovered Scotland, Wikipedia, WhiskyMerchants.co.uk
Click the map's Google logo to go to Google Maps - for Directions, Street View etc.
Open Cycle Map Bing Map Nearby: Caol Ila Bruichladdich Port Ellen
Bowmore Distillery is right in the middle of Bowmore, where the A846 does a 90 degree turn.
Bowmore is roughly equidistant from Islay's two ferry ports - Port Askaig and Port Ellen served by CalMac from Kennacraig Winter Summer). Getting to Kennacraig? - see main Islay page.
Bowmore's core range consists of the no age statement Legend (40%); 12yo (40%); 15yo Darkest (43%); 18yo (43%); and 25yo (43%). They have recently introduced a NAS Small Batch bottling at 40% - first and second fill bourbon casks.
There is also the 10yo Cask Strength Tempest - 5 batches (around 55-56%) so far and all of them excellent.
The Whisky Exchange lists 117 expressions of Bowmore - most of them Distillery Bottlings, including various editions of the famous Black Bowmore, but these now sell at approaching £10k each. Bankers will no doubt head straight for the single cask 1964 bottled at 46yo - a mere £12k!
Despite the plethora of distillery bottlings, you can also find independent bottlings of Bowmore.
LFW, RMW, TWE
Islay Cycles 07760 196592
Run from the Port Ellen Boatyard in the Business Park (behind the White Hart Hotel). Not a shop as such, but hire, sales, accessories and repairs available - see website/ring for further details.
Brian Palmer describes himself as "the only cycle repairer and spare parts person in Bowmore", and can be contacted via Catherine MacTaggart who hires bikes from Bowmore Post Office (01496 810366). Velo Club d'Ardbeg - buy the cycle jersey to join!
Washing Machine Post - Brian Palmer's Islay centric cycling site
Nearest Cycle Shops Lochgilphead (18 miles from Kennacraig), Oban
Nevis Cycles 87 George Street, Oban 01631 566033
David Graham 13-15 Combie Street, Oban 01631 562069
Crinan Cycles 34 Argyll Street, Lochgilphead 01546 603511
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions of all my photos of Bowmore Distillery are available on Flickr.