We are going back to the Hebridean Isle of Islay again this Whisky Wednesday, and this time we will be visiting Bowmore Distillery on the South Eastern shore of Loch Indaal. Bowmore Distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland. Records show it being established in 1779.
Bowmore acquires as much Islay-grown barley as possible but, due to high demand and little availability, they are forced to source barley from mainland Scotland as well. In the early days of the distillery the owner at the time, James Mutter, had an iron steam ship built to import barley and coal and export Whisky. They also are one of only a few distilleries left in Scotland that still has its own malt floor where the soaked grain germinates and then is dried. However, this to is not efficient or adequate to keep up with production demands, so the barley brought in is usually already malted and ready for milling. Traditional wooden washbacks are used for fermentation before the mash is run through 2 wash stills and then 2 spirit stills. Bowmore has an annual capacity of 2 million liters of spirit. Waste heat from production is diverted to an old Bowmore warehouse that has been converted to a public swimming pool. Although Bowmore is an Islay whisky through and through, most of their expressions are matured and bottled at a Morrison Bowmore facility with the rest of their distilleries in Springburn, Glasgow.
Bowmore’s core range of whiskies consist of Bowmore No.1, Bowmore 12-year-old, 15-year-old, 18-year-old and 25-year-old. The expression we have chosen to share with you today is the Bowmore 18-year-old. This is one of their more expensive and harder to find whiskies but is worth the hunt. Bowmore 18-year-old is a wonderfully deep and complex whisky with an incredible balance of smoke, chocolate and fruity sweetness.
Bottled at 43% ABV. No Chill Filtration but there is colour added to Bowmore expressions.
Nose: Tobacco, dark fruit, oak furniture salvaged from a structure fire.
Palate: Fragrant fruit, plums, lovely, glorious peat smoke.
Finish: Fruit jam, floral, heavy peat smoke, seductive and sultry finish.
Purchased for $139.99. For this price, I highly recommend picking up a bottle for the whisky shelf. I would like to do a 15-year-old and 18-year-old comparison to decide which one I like better and would drink more.