Bowmore

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About Bowmore

Sitting pride of place in the centre of Islay's biggest town, Bowmore Distillery is the oldest distillery on the Island. The town of Bowmore was founded by Daniel Campbell, also know as Great Daniel in 1768. Great Daniel had been a politician in Glasgow in the years following the Act of Union in 1707, sitting for both the Scottish and British parliament. Daniel fell foul of his constituents when he voted in favour of the malt tax in 1713, an imposition which lead to the Malt riots, otherwise known as the Shawfield riots, in 1725. The rioters set upon Shawfield House, Daniel’s Glasgow residence, and the extent of the damage was such that Great Daniel received a payout of £9,000 in compensation.

With this payment he decided to purchase the Island of Islay where Bowmore was subsequently founded. The distillery was built 11 years after the town was established, although there is some suggestion that it did not produce any whisky until John Simpson gained its license in 1816. Bowmore, despite regularly changing hands in the early part of the 20th century, has consistently made a peated Islay whisky with a marginally lighter smoke influence than some of its neighbours. It still operates its own malting floor which accounts for around 10% of its malted barley supply. In 1994 Bowmore was take over by Japanese company Suntory, owners of Yamazaki Distillery. Suntory were responsible for the releases of the Black Bowmores (a 100% sherry matured series) and many more iconic bottlings since. It could be argued that the only whisky to rival the quality of those Bowmores released by the distillery during Suntory’s tenure is the Bouquet bottled by Silvano Samaroli.

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