Bowmore distillery

Coordinates: 55°45′25.7″N 6°17′23.44″W / 55.757139°N 6.2898444°W / 55.757139; -6.2898444
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55°45′25.7″N 6°17′23.44″W / 55.757139°N 6.2898444°W / 55.757139; -6.2898444

Bowmore distillery
Region: Islay
OwnerSuntory Global Spirits
Water sourceRiver Laggan, Islay
No. of stills2 wash
2 spirit[1]
Capacity1,700,000 L
Cask type(s)American Oak (86%)
Sherry (14%)

Bowmore distillery (/bˈmɔːr/ boh-MOR, Scottish Gaelic: Taigh-staile Bogh Mòr)[2] produces Scotch whisky on the Isle of Islay, an island of the Inner Hebrides.[3]

The distillery, which lies on the South Eastern shore of Loch Indaal, is one of the oldest in Scotland. It is said to have been established in 1779 and is the oldest running distillery on Islay.[3] The distillery is owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd, a holding company owned by Suntory Global Spirits, an subsidiary of Suntory Holdings of Osaka, Japan. Morrison Bowmore also own the Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch distilleries and produce the McClelland's Single Malt range of bottlings.[3]


The Bowmore Distillery was established in 1779 by a local merchant, John P. Simson, before passing into the ownership of the Mutter family, a family of German descent.[3] James Mutter, head of the family, also had farming interests and was Vice Consul representing the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, and Brazil through their Glasgow consulates.[3] There are no records that pinpoint the date Mutter acquired the distillery from Simpson. Mutter would introduce a number of innovative processes to the distillery during his tenure and even had a small iron steam ship built to import barley and coal from the mainland and to export the whisky to Glasgow.[3] A bottle of 1850 Bowmore Single Malt was sold at an auction in September 2007 for £29,400.[4]

The distillery was closed in 1915[5] until it was bought from the Mutter family in 1925 by J.B. Sheriff & Co. and remained under their ownership until being purchased by Inverness-based William Grigor & Son, Ltd. in 1950.[3]

During the World Wars the Bowmore Distillery halted production, and hosted the RAF Coastal Command for much of World War II, Coastal Command operated flying boats from Loch Indaal on anti-submarine warfare missions.[3]

Stanley P. Morrison and James Howat formed Stanley P. Morrison Ltd. in 1951, and this company formed Morrison's Bowmore Distillery, Ltd. in 1963 in order to take over the Bowmore Distillery. Stanley P. Morrison died in 1971, and control of the companies passed to Brian Morrison.[6][3] The company name has changed slightly, and, following minor restructuring, the distillery is now owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd., which is ultimately owned by the Japanese distiller Suntory, following their takeover of Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd. during 1994. Suntory had previously been a shareholder in Morrison Bowmore for several years.[7]


Bowmore Distillery sources as much barley as possible from on the island of Islay, but there are insufficient quantities produced to satisfy the distillery's demand, so barley is also imported from the mainland. The distillery retains a traditional floor malting, but this also lacks sufficient capacity; the barley imported from the mainland is normally already malted.[3][7]

The distillery has an annual capacity of two million litres, with fermentation undertaken in traditional wooden washbacks before the liquid is passed through two wash stills and then through two spirit stills.[7][8]

The waste heat from the distillation process goes to heat a nearby public swimming pool that was built in one of the distillery's former warehouses.[8][9]

Morrison Bowmore bottles all whisky produced at Bowmore Distillery and their other distilleries at a facility in Springburn, Glasgow.[10]


Bowmore 12 Year, 750ml bottle

Standard Range[11]

Bowmore Legend
  • Bowmore No. 1
  • Bowmore Legend (discontinued)
  • Bowmore Small Batch (discontinued)
  • Bowmore 12 Year Old
  • Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest
  • Bowmore 18 Year Old
  • Bowmore 25 Year Old

Limited Edition

  • Bowmore 18 Year Manzanilla Cask
  • Bowmore 19 Year French Oak Barrique (exclusive to Amazon)
  • Bowmore 26 Year French Oak Barrique
  • Bowmore 1964
  • Bowmore Vault Edition Atlantic Sea Salt
  • Bowmore Mizunara Cask
  • Bowmore 1957
  • Bowmore The 50 Year Old
  • Bowmore Arc-52, 52 Years Old (together with Aston Martin)[12]

Travel Retail[11]

  • Bowmore 10 Year Old Dark & Intense
  • Bowmore 15 Year Old Golden & Elegant
  • Bowmore 18 Year Old Deep & Complex
  • Bowmore Black Rock (discontinued)
  • Bowmore Gold Reef (discontinued)
  • Bowmore 17 Year Old White Sands (discontinued)
  • Bowmore Springtide (discontinued)
  • Bowmore 1984 (500 btls)

Bowmore also produce a number of special edition bottlings and market-specific bottlings. Independent bottlings are also readily available.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bowmore distillery on
  2. ^ "Bogh Mòr, Ìle, a' coimhead dhan Eaglais Chruinn". Am Baile (in Scottish Gaelic). Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Morrice, Philip (1983). The Schweppes Guide To Scotch. Sherborne, Dorset, England: Alphabooks. pp. 340–342. ISBN 0-906670-29-2.
  4. ^ "Rare Scotch whisky tops world record auction price". Agence France-Presse. 28 September 2007. Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  5. ^ "What is a Caretaker". The Scotsman. Scotland. 28 March 1924. Retrieved 5 September 2021 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Morrison Scotch Whisky Distillers". SELECT SCOTCH WHISKY. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Milroy, Wallace. The Original Malt Whisky Almanac - A Taster's Guide. Glasgow, Scotland: Neil Wilson Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-897784-68-6.
  8. ^ a b "Bowmore Distillery - The Distilleries of Scotland". Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  9. ^ "Bowmore - Isle of Islay administrative capital". Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  10. ^ "House of Commons - Scottish Affairs - Minutes of Evidence". Hansard. Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 28 April 2004. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  11. ^ a b "Product Range - Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky". Archived from the original on 10 September 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2007.
  12. ^ "22. Ist die Berufung zulässig, wenn sie von einem Klüger, der mit einem von zwei Sachanträgen voll obgesiegt hat, mit dem anderen unterlegen ist, nur auf eine Erweiterung des zuerkannten Antrags abgestellt wird?", Band 130, De Gruyter, pp. 100–101, 31 December 1931, retrieved 13 July 2023

External links[edit]