The island of Islay (pronounced eye-la) lies in the southern Inner Hebridean isles of Scotland and boasts 8 producing single malt distilleries: (Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Kilchoman) and one closed (Port Ellen). Islay is home to some of the most famous distilleries in Scotland, and while the majority produce a heavily peated and pungently smoky whisky, there are excellent un-peated styles made here too.
The distinctive smoky aroma and flavour is imparted by the drying of barley over smouldering peat fires, with this character diminishing and softening with time in the cask. Islay whiskies are connected strongly to where they are made, and a visit to the island is among one of the best whisky experiences available in the world.
The Whiskies of Islay — Bowmore
Bowmore 'Darkest' 15 years old 43%
A new bottling from Bowmore which is a combination of vanilla-rich bourbon casks and 2 years in Oloroso sherry casks. A fantastic dram!
Bowmore 'Xtra Old Particular' 1989 / 25 years old 55.1%
Distilled at the end of 1989 and filled into a refill hogshead cask, this Bowmore was left to mature for 25 years before being bottled at its natural cask strength. Gently maratime with coastal and oceanic with a drifting subtle smoke. Sweetly smoky to start on the palate with a sooty and iodine peatyness that stays for a long time on the finish...
Bowmore 12 years old 43%
Complex yet perfectly balanced, the Bowmore 12 carries notes of subtle lemon, honey and silky peat smoke. A gentler style of Islay smoke from the islands oldest distillery.
Bowmore 18 years old 43%
Released in January 2007 to replace the 17 year old, this is a complex and interesting Bowmore that opens up beautifully given time. It has a perfumed aroma with stewed fruit and gentle smoke in the background which continues to develop on the palate along with plum jam and fruit flavours which leads to a mellow finish with gentle peat smoke eve...
Bowmore No.1 40%
The Bowmore No. 1 is aged exclusively in first fill Bourbon casks which gives it a depth of creamy vanilla sweetness and cinnamon, finished with traditional Islay smoke.