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Founded in 1779, Bowmore is the oldest licensed distillery on Islay, one of the Scottish isles which make up the region known as the ‘Islands’ in the lexicon of Whisky. Islay malts are famous for their characteristic smokiness and Bowmore is no exception; the malt is smoked in a peat-fired kiln, using skills handed down from generation to generation.

Bowmore adheres to traditional production methods which helps to shape the character of its single malts. Today, it prides itself as one of the rare distilleries which still produces its own floor malted barley, hand-turned by a traditional wooden malt shovel and hand drawn machinery. Water for the whiskies is drawn from the Laggan River, with its peaty overtones, the same Islay peat that fires the malt-drying kiln.

Bowmore Distillery’s proximity to the sea is also vital in determining the final character of its spirit. The Bowmore No. 1 Vaults, one of the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouses, is where some of the whiskies spend their long lives resting quietly in the cool, dark, damp cellars below sea level, oblivious to the waves thrashing the vault’s sea-facing wall. They mature in oak casks, previously used for bourbon and sherry. It is this combination of peat, barley, sea breeze, water, wood, people and tradition that together create the warm and smoky character of Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Bowmore 12-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky (80 proof)
Visual: Gold.
Nose: Medium dose of peat smoke, and a soft, malty canvas.
Taste: Easy going and smooth, with none of the aggressiveness you might expect from an Islay scotch. Really well balanced between the classic trifecta of smoke-malt-barrel.
Finish: Medium-long with very little smoke.
Overall: You can almost imagine the cellar in Scotland as you sip this. It’s quite evocative and makes for a pleasant foray into the world of Scottish whiskies.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Bowmore