Feis Ile: Bowmore

Feis Ile Whisky

The half way point of the week marks the open day of Bowmore, Islay’s capital and home of the oldest official distillery on the island.

The day was a relatively low key affair, once you fought your way past the enormous queue of folks buying the festival bottling. We didnt stay for the whole day, as we had a hot date with Masters of Malt and a tour booked at Laphroaig, but all the essentials were present – tastings, seafood and a music stage.

The tasting tent was generous to a fault, with the full core range available in frankly huge measures; some of the more expensive expressions cost an extra pound or two on top of the token for a free dram given to each visitor on arrival.

I was already familiar with a lot of the range – the twelve and fifteen year olds are pretty standard stock in my cupboard – but the Small Batch Reserve was something of a revelation; light for a Bowmore, but still with that characteristic fire underneath.

Although it was a nice day, it felt slightly more like a marketing exercise than some of the other distilleries’ days; a little more strongly focused on sales. One for a short sweet visit rather than a proper day out.

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