An auctioneer's guide to Bowmore, Islay's oldest distillery

Bowmore started distilling in 1779, though there is no hard evidence of whisky production until John Simpson was granted a licence to distil in 1816. The distillery passed through several hands and even supplied a cask to Windsor Castle before it was purchased by perhaps its most famous owner, Stanley P Morrison, in 1963.
Bowmore maintains its own floor maltings which supply around a third of its barley and is known for its medium-peated character. The whisky is left to mature in the No.1 Vaults, which inhabits a unique microclimate, said to be perfect for long periods of maturation.

Bowmore has long been a favourite among collectors. The 1964 Black Bowmore range and the distillery's Bicentennial releases have proved to have been excellent investments (aside from being great whisky). Even 1990s bottlings of Bowmore 12 Year Old are becoming sought after, with higher prices achieved for 1980s and 1970s examples, which regularly show up at auction.

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