Something Magical unveiled

We Announce The Release Of Our

BOWMORE 1957 – 54 YEARS OLD

The Oldest Ever Bowmore And

The Oldest Islay Single Malt Ever Released To The Public

This October, we will release our oldest ever expression, the exceptionally rare Bowmore 1957, 54 Years Old. Not only is this the oldest whisky we have ever released, it is also the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released. Distilled in 1957 and bottled in 2011, this 54-year-old marvel has been lying in wait in the finest oak for more than half a century in our legendary No.1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in all of Scotland. With only 12 bottles in existence in the world, Bowmore 1957 is the oldest and rarest ever Bowmore, ensuring that this will become one of the most sought-after bottlings of one of the world’s most collectible Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 will be offered at a public auction at esteemed international auction house Bonhams in Edinburgh on Oct 10 and in New York City on Oct 28 with a minimum reserve set at £100,000 per bottle (approx. $155,000). All net proceeds from both sales will be donated to five Scottish charities.

Many generations have been the custodians of Bowmore 1957’s long journey from cask to bottle. Beginning in 1779 when Bowmore was established through to the present day, our distillery team has served as guardians of Bowmore’s whisky-making traditions and its inventory, safeguarding them so that future generations can continue to experience the unique spirit that is Bowmore. Bowmore 1957 was as much nurtured by the people as it was by its cask and the ancient distillery walls. 

A collection of 1957 casks were bottled in 1995 but one in particular was held back because it was a bit more special, a bit more exceptional than the rest.  Since 1995, the whisky in that cask has been examined every six months to check the quality, the taste, the developments and changes the spirit was taking on its aging voyage. It was also closely watched to see how long the whisky could mature without losing Bowmore’s signature trait of a sweet/smoky balance.

The Auction

Bowmore is considered one of the leading collectible Single Malts in the world. With Bowmore 1957 not only being the oldest Bowmore released but also the oldest Islay Single Malt ever released, the Bonhams’ auctions are certain to quicken the heartbeats of whisky collectors around the world. Auctions are set for Edinburgh on October 10 (http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/19871/) and New York City on October 28 (http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20459/) with bids accepted live in each location as well as live internet bidding. Inquiries regarding bidding can be directed to bids@bonhams.com. The minimum reserve set by Bonhams is £100,000 per bottle, the highest reserve ever set for a Single Malt Whisky.

The Charitable Donation

We have chosen to donate all net proceeds of both auctions to five Scottish charities that encompass a variety of worthy causes: ALZHEIMER SCOTLAND (care for people with dementia, their caregivers and families); THE BEATSON ONCOLOGY CENTRE (care for cancer patients receiving treatment in the west of Scotland); CHAS (children’s hospice services); ERSKINE (medical care for Armed Forces); and MARIE CURIE CANCER CARE (cancer care and research).

The Unique Presentation

We have been distilling and perfecting our celebrated Single Malt on Islay since 1779, and while the size of our pot stills and capacity of the washbacks may have increased, the time-honored manner in which we make our whisky has not: Bowmore is one of the few distilleries that still turns its floor-malted barley by hand, checks the germinating barley by rolling it between finger and thumb and judges the “middle cut” of new made spirit by eye to determine the best liquid to fill the casks that will mature into well-aged Bowmore. 

No attention to detail has been missed in making this precious spirit, and the same hand-crafted thoughtfulness has been applied to the vessel and presentation box that carries the rare Bowmore 1957. Each of the 12 bottles has been hand-blown and sculpted by two of the world’s foremost glass artists Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns, into the shape of waves reminiscent of those that constantly crash against the No.1 Vaults’ sea-facing walls. The glass is inlaid with shimmering flecks of platinum, one of the rarest precious metals on earth. Adorning each bottle is a platinum neck collar, hand-engraved with the bottle number and spirit strength, and platinum stopper hand-crafted by Hamilton & Inches, Warrant Holder to the Queen. The bottle and accompanying glasses and water pitcher, also hand-blown by Nairn and Burns, are nestled in a presentation box created by acclaimed woodworker Peter Toaig, using hand-selected pieces of Scottish Oak. View artisans’ videos here: /news/something-magical/

The Allocation Of 12 Bottles

Only 12 bottles of the rarest Bowmore 1957 have been created. Two of these bottles will be auctioned, two have been retained for the Morrison Bowmore archives and the remaining eight will be available for purchase by the public solely via the Bowmore Distillery on Islay. The retail price for Bowmore 1957 will be £100,000 (approx. $155,000). Islay is the whisky-making mecca for many aficionados and those people who make the special journey to purchase Bowmore 1957 will be captivated by this magical island’s craggy coasts, windswept moors and friendly inhabitants.

Cask Maturation And Tasting Notes

This 54-year-old Bowmore 1957 is a symphony of aromas and flavours never before experienced. After distillation in 1957, the new spirit was placed into a second fill sherry cask (where it spent 43 years) and then in 2000 was moved into a second fill bourbon cask. At first breath, an elixir of blueberries and wild figs with mellow almonds, tropical fruit and rich oaky overtones hits the nose. The palate reveals layer upon layer of sweet and refined ocean tastes with soft blueberries, cassis and figs, sea salt and fresh eucalyptus. Next, a wisp of teasing smoke and traces of dark chocolate fuse with notes of grapefruit and juicy oak, carried along by a warming marine breeze. This sensory journey ends with a long and whispering finish of cassis, bergamot and star anise. Simply magical!

 

 

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