The distillery was established in 1779 by local postmaster and ferry operator David Simson, who had previously distilled 3 miles away at Killarow, near Bridgend, before passing it on to the Mutter family, a local family of German descent, who remained as owners until 1925. Bowmore is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland and the oldest surviving on the Isle of Islay. Remaining hand-crafted, Bowmore prides itself on its traditional techniques which honour past methods. He named the distillery 'Bowmore' which is Gaelic for great reef. Bowmore produces about 2 million litres of alcohol per year. It’s one of the few distilleries which still have malting floors, with phenol levels of 18/25 ppm.