Bowmore 17 Year Old SMWS 3.243 / Feis Ile 2015
'Dark, smouldering flamenco gypsy'
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) was founded in 1983 by a group of friends lead by tax accountant Phillip ‘Pip’ Hills as a private members club. The concept behind the society was to source casks from all over Scotland which would then be bottled and made available exclusively to its members. Perhaps the most famous feature of these bottles are the unique codes. Each distillery is represented by a different number and the following digits indicate that particular release. That same year, the SMWS set up its first location in Leith’s Vault buildings in Edinburgh where it still stands today.
This Bowmore was part of the Society's 2015 outturn of special festival releases. This is one of 594 bottles produced to celebrate the Fèis Ìle on Islay.
Islay’s oldest working distillery, Bowmore was established in 1779 and is now regarded as one of the most popular malts not only on Islay, but in the whole of Scotland. The distillery was acquired by Stanley P. Morrison in 1963, ushering in an era of iconic single malts, including the legendary Black Bowmore, credited by many as the genesis of whisky collecting, bottled in 1993. The distillery was bought under the control Suntory the year after (they had been stakeholders since 1989), and it remains one of the most collectible brands in Scotch whisky today. Bowmore is one of the few remaining Scottish distilleries to use its own floor maltings, providing them with 40% of their requirements. The unique microclimate in their iconic No.1 vaults shares very little with the angels, meaning casks are readily available for independent labels like this, many of which are spectacular.
Fèis Ìle, also known as the Islay Festival of Music and Malt had humble beginnings. It traces it origins back to 1985 and the establishment of The Islay Festival Association after it was realised that an event celebrating Gaelic, music and culture would drive tourism to the island. The inaugural event was two weeks of music, drama and workshops with ceilidhs, concerts and dances in the evening. The first whisky tasting took place as a festival event in 1990, and ten years later the island's distilleries began to be directly involved, organising their annual open days to coincide with it. Today it is one of the biggest events on the whisky calendar, annually drawing hundreds of revellers, and turning out an increasingly sought-after batch of limited edition whiskies like this.
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Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.