Bowmore is Islay's oldest distillery, home to the world's oldest whisky maturation warehouse. Bowmore distillery dates from 1779 but its founder David Simpson bought the land in 1766, so what happened between those years is anyone's guess. Bowmore was bought by Glaswegian twin brothers William and James Mutter from the Simpson family in 1837. It has changed ownership a few times and is now owned by the Japanese drinks producer Suntory.
The Mutter family, which is of German descent, introduced a number of innovative processes, even a small iron steam ship to import barley from the mainland. James Mutter, head of the family, had other interests and was Vice Consul, representing the Ottoman Empire, Portugal and Brazil in their Glasgow consulates. Bowmore also ceased production and was commandeered by the RAF coastal command to help with the Second world war between 1940-1943.