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.