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 October - see website for full details. Book on the number above - cost £7. 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 No.1 (40%); 12yo (40%); 15yo Darkest (43%); 18yo (43%); and 25yo (43%).
There has also been the 10yo Cask Strength Tempest - released in batches (around 55-56%). This series has now been replaced by the firat of a promised series of 4 Vaults Editions
The Whisky Exchange lists some 60 expressions of Bowmore - most of them Distillery Bottlings, including the famous Black Bowmore, but these now sell for £20k.
Despite the plethora of distillery bottlings, you can also find independent bottlings of Bowmore.
Islay Cycles 07760 196592
Run from a house in Port Ellen, so not a shop as such, but hire, sales, accessories and repairs available - see website/ring for further details.
Brian Palmer 01496 810653 describes himself as "the only cycle repairer and spare parts person in Bowmore". Again run from his house. There's a load of cycing reated information on Brian's washingmachinepost website. See also islayinfo.com
Bike hire from Bowmore Post Office 01496 810366; Port Ellen 01496 302349.and Islay Cycles as above; Port Charlotte 01496 850488; and Port Askaig (Persabus) 01496 840753.
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.