Bowmore Legend No.05 ‘The Legend of the Headless Horseman’ (1998)



Legend has it that Lachlan Bàn, an Islay crofter, was returning home one stormy night when, through the darkness, he saw a ghostly sight. The silhouette of a headless horseman galloping away from his house. Lachlan turned pale.

On entering the house, Lachlan felt an eerie coldness. The fire he had left blazing, only an hour before, had gone out. In the middle of the stone floor was a circular damp stain, and on the table stood an opened bottle of Bowmore Malt whisky with a large dram missing. What kind of creature had visited?

Accepting gifts, even Bowmore whisky, from such a fearful intruder could only lead to misfortune thought Lachlan. So he threw the bottle out into the wet night, bolting the door behind him, and spent a troubled night listening to the howls of the wind and the rattling of the windows, fearful for his life. The next night at the local Inn Lachlan related the frightening tale to a hushed group of locals.

The following week Lachlan’s brother called to him. “Lachlan, I passed last Friday night during that dreadful storm. The wind had forced your door open and blown out the fire, I brought a bottle of Bowmore to share with you, but I couldn’t wait long, so I took a quick dram and rode for home with my cloak pulled tight over my head to keep out the rain.” Too embarrassed to tell, Lachlan never related the true story to the villagers.

To this day, no true Ileach offers an opened bottle of whisky to guests. A fresh bottle is always opened and the cork thrown into the fire so that the guest can be sure that the headless horseman has not returned….Or is it just an excuse for another dram of Bowmore?

Available on backorder


Bowmore is a distillery that produces scotch whisky on the isle of Islay, an island of the Inner Hebrides. The distillery, which lies on the South Eastern shore of Loch Indaal, is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, said to have been established in 1779 by a local merchant, John P. Simpson, before passing into the ownership of the Mutter family. James Mutter, head of the family, also had farming interests and was Vice Consul representing the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, and Brazil through their Glasgow consulates. There are no records that pinpoint the exact date Mutter acquired the distillery from Simpson. Mutter would introduce a number of innovative processes to the distillery during his tenure and even had a small iron steam ship built to import barley and coal from the mainland and to export the whisky to Glasgow.

The distillery was bought from the Mutter family in 1925 by J.B. Sheriff & Co. and remained under their ownership until being purchased by Inverness-based William Grigor & Son, Ltd. in 1950. During the World Wars the Bowmore Distillery halted production, and hosted the RAF Coastal Command for much of World War II, Coastal Command operated flying boats from Loch Indaal on Anti-submarine warfare missions.

Stanley P. Morrison and James Howat formed Stanley P. Morrison Ltd. in 1951, and this company formed Morrison’s Bowmore Distillery, Ltd. in 1963 in order to take over the Bowmore Distillery. Stanley P. Morrison died in 1971, and control of the companies passed to Brian Morrison. The company name has changed slightly, and, following minor restructuring, the distillery is now owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd., which is ultimately owned by the Japanese distiller Suntory, following their takeover of Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd. during 1994. Suntory had previously been a shareholder in Morrison Bowmore for several years.

Additional information

Weight 1.9 kg





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