'The Queen of the Hebrides', Islay (pronounced "eye-la") is located just off the west coast of Scotland. Its mild climate and rich peaty soil make it ideal for creating whisky, and despite having a population of not much more than 3,000, it's home to no fewer than eight distilleries.Move on to The Islay Legends
With captivating tales of sea dragons and phantom horses, Islay is a place rich in legend and shrouded in myth. Many of its stories were recorded for posterity by Iain Og Ile, Young John Francis Campbell in his Popular Tales of the West Highlands. Find out more in our Inner Core.Move on to Islay's History
Islay has a long and distinguished history. First inhabited around 7500BC by the early hunter gatherers, our little island was once the main seat of power in the west of Scotland, home to the mighty Lords of the Isles. Today, Islay is an archaeological treasure trove as well as a mecca for whisky lovers.
Move on to Bowmore's Location
Bowmore the place and Bowmore the celebrated Single Malt share many claims to fame. The island's administrative capital and crossroads, Bowmore the place was the first planned village in the country, founded in 1768. Just 11 years its junior, the distillery at the community's heart produces the First Islay Malt.Move on to A Distillery On The Shore
Bowmore Distillery has stood on the shores of Loch Indaal, a sea loch that opens out into the Atlantic Ocean, since 1779. The distillery's proximity to the sea plays a vital role in shaping the final character of our spirit, which breathes in the salty sea air all the while it's maturing.Move on to The First Islay Malt Since 1779
Bowmore's celebrated Single Malt has been distilled on this jewel of an island, the Queen of the Hebrides, ever since 1779. This makes it the first of Islay's eight distilleries chronologically speaking (and by taste too, many would say). Now, as then, Bowmore is widely acknowledged to be among the finest and most perfectly balanced single malts in the world.Move on to A Balanced Whisky
It's Bowmore's unique combination of the purest water from the Laggan River, floor-malted barley that has been carefully smoked in our peat-fired kiln, the finest oak casks left to mature in our No. 1 Vaults, Islay's natural environment and a dedicated team of craftsmen that together create the perfect balance for which Bowmore is known and loved.Move on to Our Craftsmen
Our whisky is made the same way today as it has always been, by a dedicated team of craftsmen, using time-honoured techniques passed down from one generation to the next. A job for life, our Distillery Manager has worked at Bowmore for over 40 years, as a man and boy.Move on to The Legendary No. 1 Vaults
Bowmore's now legendary No. 1 Vaults is a very special place indeed. The oldest maturation warehouse in Scotland and the only one below sea level, its dark, damp and cold conditions are perfect for maturing whisky. It's here that our single malts spend their long lives maturing in specially selected oak casks, gradually developing the finest of flavours.
Move on to The Malt Floors
Bowmore is one of an ever decreasing handful of distilleries to produce its own floor malted barley. Every four hours, the barley is still laboriously hand turned by our Maltmen using traditional tools, just as it has always been. It's an expensive process by modern standards, but one that's well worth preserving judged by the results.Move back to Our Island Home
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