3 March 2021

107th Whisky Insiders Interview - David Turner

Beam Suntory

Bowmore Distillery Manager


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
It’s been 30 years now. I began working at Bowmore on June 4th 1990, straight from school at the age of 16. I started off in the warehouse, then moved to the malt barns, mashing and then onto distilling. So I have worked my way up through all the production departments.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Being the Distillery Manager when the Black Bowmore 1964 50 Year Old was released. My Grandfather worked in the malt barns and warehouses back then, so he would have been one of the warehouse operators who laid that cask down to mature. 

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
All distillery employees were gifted a bottle of Bowmore Bicentenary in 1979. My late Grandfathers wish was to have his bottle opened on the day he was buried. When that day came I was just 8 years old, but I remember it being opened and shared to celebrate his life. I also remember smelling all of its tropical fruit notes.

What does whisky mean to you?
Everything! I live and breath whisky, it’s my world!

Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
Nothing would make me happier than continuing my role as Distillery Manager, and hopefully being able to travel the world again, to spread the love for Bowmore.

What was your last dram?
My last dram was a Bowmore 1996 single cask, which I was tasting as part of work on a future project.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
One of my favourites is dumplings made with Bowmore 12 year old.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
Nothing beats a winters night beside the fire, enjoying a Bowmore 15 year old.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
There are going to be more and more small craft distilleries popping up.

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
That’s easy, a Bowmore 15 year old!

Many thanks to David Turner. Who will be our next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!