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British Industrial History

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Morrison Bowmore Distillers

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Bowmore is a distillery that produces single malt 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 in Scotland, having been established in 1779. The distillery is owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd, a holding company owned by Japanese drinks company Suntory. Morrison Bowmore also own the Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch distilleries and produces the McClelland's Single Malt range of bottlings

1779 The Bowmore Distillery was established by a local merchant, John P. Simpson, before passing into the ownership of the Mutter family, a family of German descent. 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 date Mutter acquired the distillery from Simpson. Mutter would introduce a number of innovative processes to the distillery during his tenure, and he even had a small iron steam ship built to import barley and coal from the mainland, and to export the whisky to Glasgow

1925 The distillery was bought from the Mutter family by J. B. Sheriff and Co

1950 Purchased by Inverness based William Grigor and Son

The distillery, like most in Scotland, was mothballed during the World Wars, with the Bowmore Distillery hosting the RAF Coastal Command for much of World War II, Coastal Command operated flying boats from Loch Indaal on Anti-submarine warfare missions

1951 Stanley P. Morrison and James Howat formed Stanley P. Morrison

Changed the name to Morrison's Bowmore Distillery in order to takeover the Bowmore Distillery.

Stanley P. Morrison died in 1971 and control of the companies passed to James Howat and his family.

1994 The company name has changed slightly and following minor restructuring, the distillery is now owned by Morrison Bowmore Distillers which is ultimately owned by the Japanese distiller Suntory, following their takeover of Morrison Bowmore Distillers during 1994. Suntory had previously been a shareholder in Morrison Bowmore for several years


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