Bowmore 18 Year Old First Fill Oloroso Casks / Feis Ile 2020
Islay’s oldest working distillery, Bowmore was established in 1779 and is now regarded as one of the most popular malts not only on Islay, but in the whole of Scotland. The distillery was acquired by Stanley P. Morrison in 1963, ushering in an era of iconic single malts, including the legendary Black Bowmore, credited by many as the genesis of whisky collecting, bottled in 1995. The distillery was bought under the control Suntory the year prior (they had been stakeholders since 1989), and it remains one of the most collectible brands in Scotch whisky today. Bowmore is one of the few remaining Scottish distilleries to use its own floor maltings, providing them with 40% of their requirements.
This was matured in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks for 18 years before being bottled at cask strength. The bottling was originally scheduled to be released at Feis Ile in 2020, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it was held back and reserved for 2021. It was never relabelled and still carries the intended release year.
Feis Ile, also known as the Islay Festival of Music and Malt had humble beginnings. It traces it origins back to 1985 and the establishment of The Islay Festival Association after it was realised that an event celebrating Gaelic, music and culture would drive tourism to the island. The inaugural event was rtwo weeks of music, drama and workshops with ceilidhs, concerts and dances in the evening. The first whisky tasting took place as a festival event in 1990, and ten years later the island's distilleries began to be directly involved, organising their annual open days to coincide with it. Today it is one of the biggest events on the whisky calendar, annually drawing hundreds of revellers, and turning out an increasingly sought-after batch of limited edition whiskies like this.
One of 3000 bottles.