If you walk around Bowmore right as kilns are firing up, the smell of peat surrounds the town. For any peat smoke whisky lover, this smell is heavenly. This was the smell that welcomed us when we arrived at Bowmore and, as it was the town we stayed in, it was the smell we enjoyed for a good 4-days.
The Bowmore distillery is nestled right in the middle of the town center. Not a very huge distillery but still quite beautiful and unique in its own way. While we waited for our tour to kick off, we got the chance to admire this 1957 Bowmore on display.
It is the oldest expression produced by Bowmore and it is also the oldest Islay single malt produced to date with only 12 bottles coming out of production. But the whisky itself isn’t the only unique factor as the bottle is as well. The bottles were hand-blown into the shape of waves by renowned artist Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns. Hamilton & Inches, Warrant Holder to the Queen, handcrafted the platinum stopper. A couple of the bottles were sold at auction, a couple kept by the distillery and the others were released for purchased.
After staring at this bottle in amazement, for what seemed like hours, our tour was ready to start. If you’ve been to one distillery tour in Islay then you are pretty much assured you know what the process is. The different about this tour, Bowmore was the first distillery we visited during our stay in Islay that still floor malts their barley. The rest of the process was similar to the other distilleries aside from how the peat is smoked to give that unique Bowmore signature taste. Tour pictures below and another video.
After our tour was over we took part in a tasting which allowed us the option to taste a few more whiskies not offered in the tour. When everything was completed, we ended up purchasing two full bottles, Tempest 10 year and their Warehouse Edition. I also bought a mini of Bowmore Black Rock. Reviews on these come on these soon.
Overall it was a great tour! It was the one distillery we said we had to visit, as it was the whisky that helped introduce my boyfriend and I. Bowmore is certainly one of our favorite Islay whiskies. Being there in person was amazing and truly unforgettable.
PS: Keep an eye out for my whisky gift guide. I should have that out soon.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.