The Tun Room

The liquid wort is pumped into six massive Oregon pine tubs, called washbacks, where yeast is added and all-important fermentation begins. The yeast feeds on the sugar, converting it naturally into alcohol. The resulting alcoholic liquid, which is like a strong malty beer, is called 'wash'.

  • Each washback holds 40,000 litres of wort and is named after a previous distillery owner, starting with Mr Simson who established Bowmore back in 1779.
  • We add 100kg of yeast to each washback.
  • Once properly underway, fermentation causes the wash to bubble and froth vigorously.
  • Fermentation takes 48 hours and the resultant wash has an ABV of 7.5-8%.
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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