The Bowmore Smoke and Oysters

 Nestled away amongst the trees and rolling hills of Ramsbottom, located in the centre of a labyrinth of narrow lanes lies The Fisherman’s Retreat. With tradition running through each brick, a trout fishery in the grounds and an incredibly well stocked whisky bar, it created the perfect location for Bowmore’s Smoke and Oyster Experience.

 In the ebbing light of the evening sun, Bowmore brought the Scottish isles to Lancashire through their best-balanced Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

 The evening began with a smoke laced yet fresh cocktail and the hosts easing the eager audience in with a little history about the Bowmore and the purpose of the evening; to introduce us to the incredible whisky, an oyster shucking master class and sampling a Bowmere ‘molecular bubble’ cocktail.

 The molecular bubble cocktail was like nothing I have ever sampled before; a perfect sphere cradled in an oyster shell like a whisky pearl. Consumed much like the flesh of an oyster, the bubble hits the mouth and explodes in a wave of warming spice, whisky and vanilla tones. It was less of a cocktail and more of a gastronomic experience.

 The kilted Oyster Boys took over proceedings and launched into the oyster shucking master class. Furnishing each table with a chainmail glove, sharp shucking tool and a champagne bucket full of fresh oysters, the Oyster Boys showed each group how to shuck an oyster and let them loose. If you’re desperate to know the secret, place the oyster in your gloved left hand (if you’re right handed) and grip tightly. Take the shucking tool and place at the foot of the oyster, firmly push inside the oyster until you can feel movement then twist the tool to prise the shell open. Run the tool along the edges to fully open the shell. Drain and scrape to ensure no shell fragments remain, loosen the oyster flesh and enjoy with a dram of whisky.


Words and Images by Clare Potts.

Clare Potts

Clare Potts


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