The Malt Barns

One of whisky's three key ingredients, barley has to be malted before it can be used to make whisky. To start the germination, the barley is steeped in water, then spread out over Bowmore's original stone malting floors, where it's turned regularly by hand to control the temperature and rate of germination.

  • All our barley is grown on designated farms in the Scottish Borders.
  • Bowmore is one of only six distilleries to still produce its own floor malted barley.
  • Our malt barns have three floors - each floor can hold 14 tonnes of barley.
  • The barley is left for five to seven days and turned every four hours, day and night.
  • At the end of this process, the malt is what we call 'green malt'.


Your Guide is


Master Distiller

Eddie began his days at Bowmore in July 1966 working in the warehouses. He then moved to the Maltbarns gradually working throughout the distillery before earning his title as Master Distiller.

Visit our island

While our virtual tour gives a flavour of what to expect, there's really no substitute for visiting Islay in person and experiencing the unique atmosphere inside Bowmore's legendary No. 1 Vaults for yourself. Our essential guide will start you on your way.

Visit our island

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