Bowmore Legend 1996 ‘The Devil in the Church’



Bowmore Legend was and still the NAS entry-level expression of the distillery, aged between 8 to 10 years on North American Oak casks which previously contained Bourbon. This is the 1st release which came on the market in 1996 with a tin depecting the legend of the devil which goes something like this:  in 1837, on a clear winter’s evening, the devil visited the church in Bowmore. The church was round in shape, purposely built, in preparation for such a visit as there were no corners in which the devil could hide. The local congregation chased the devil from the church. He fled through the village, eventually finding a hiding place in Bowmore distillery. The villagers raced through the distillery, in search of the devil.

That night the Warehousemen were filling the golden Bowmore whisky into casks and loading them aboard The Maid of Islay, the tiny paddle steamship used for transporting Bowmore whisky to the mainland. All the distillery doors and gates were slammed shut and locked to prevent the devil’s escape. The distillery was searched from the maltbarns to the mash house, but the devil was nowhere to be found. The Maid of Islay, loaded with the last cask of Bowmore, gave a loud blast of her horn and paddled off across the calm Loch Indaal into the clear dark night.

The devil was never found that night, but, as legend goes, escaped in a cask of Bowmore destined for the mainland. Whether The Maid of Islay ever reached the mainland is not known, but on certain still winter nights, the sound of the sea lapping against the distillery wall is akin to the faint paddling of a small steamship in the distance.

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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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