The kiln is where we halt germination and dry the barley so it can be milled into grist. It’s also where Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky is given its subtle peat smoke character.
Within the large kiln at Bowmore distillery are two furnaces that control the air temperature inside the kiln, up to 60C. The smoke from these furnaces billows up through the mesh floor – where the damp green malt is spread out – before meandering out from Bowmore’s iconic pagoda chimney.
For the first 18 hours of drying, we add peat to the furnaces. This gives our malted barley the subtle smoke flavour that is a key characteristic of Bowmore whisky. For the next 42 hours we use hot air to gently dry the malt, keeping the temperatures low and slowly building up to 60°C. The hot air is recycled energy from our clever waste heat recovery system, the same system that heats our local swimming pool.