Founded in 1779, just eleven years after the town which shares its name, Bowmore is Islay’s oldest distillery. It is whispered that the distillery’s founder, David Simpson, had in fact started distilling long before this after his arrival on Islay in 1766. Home to the world’s oldest whisky maturation warehouse, the No.1 Vaults, it is in this legendary warehouse that Bowmore whisky has matured for over 200 years. Single malt expressions released from this Islay distillery are among the most sought after and collectible around the world.
An icon of the whisky world, it’s hard to fathom where whisky collecting would be today without the alluring legend of Black Bowmore.
Distilled on 5th November 1964 this liquid is a true artefact representing a turning point for single malts. In 1963, enterprising whisky broker, Stanley P. Morrison purchased Bowmore distillery and made huge strides in advancing the distillery’s production; including increasing the number of stills and changing from direct coal to gas firing. This 1964 distillate would be one of the first produced of this modernity.
Filled into oak casks which had previously been used for maturing rich, sweet Oloroso sherry, Black Bowmore assumes its name from the dramatic black pearl darkness achieved from this exceptional sherry seasoned wood. The 1960s are renowned for their quality of sherry casks, with Bowmore receiving a steady transport from William and Humbert of casks once holding the most delectably mature stocks. This bottle is a testament to their quality.
These casks were then transferred to Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults, which sit below sea level on the shores of Loch Indaal, to mature in a truly unique atmosphere. It is within these old stone walls, with air saturated in sea-salt capturing the wild nature of the Hebrides, that new make spirit becomes Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky.
Each season of slumber is an alchemy, combining the magical character of Islay with centuries of tradition to shape Black Bowmore’s spirit, deepening its heart and forging its exuberant character.
The first of three releases from Bowmore’s most recognisable series was released in 1993, a zenith in the popularity of sherry-casked whisky, which was for the first time creating a fashionable buzz around single malt whiskies. The complete original trilogy features a 29 year old, 30 year old and 31 year old Black Bowmore.