Bowmore unveils Islay’s oldest single malt18th September, 2012 by Becky Paskin
After a week-long build up, Bowmore has revealed just 12 bottles of a 1957 Scotch whisky – the oldest Islay single malt ever released.
Bottled in 2011, Bowmore 1957 – 54 Years Old is believed to be the rarest Bowmore in existence.
With an abv of 42.1%, Bowmore 1957 spent 43 years in a second-fill sherry cask, before being moved in 2000 into a second-fill bourbon cask.
Bowmore describes its aroma as being full of blueberries and wild figs and almonds, with a taste of blueberries, cassis, figs, sea salt and eucalyptus.
A selection of casks laid down in 1957 were initially bottled in 1995, although Bowmore held just one back to age for longer.
Andrew Rankin, Morrison Bowmore’s chief blender, said: “Upon checking the whisky in early 2011, we knew it had reached perfection at 54 years of age. Bowmore 1957 has withstood the test of time astoundingly well and is nothing short of brilliance in a glass.”
Each bottle has been hand crafted by glass artists Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns into ‘the shape of waves reminiscent of those that constantly crash against the No. 1 vault’s sea-facing walls’. The glass is inaid with flecks of platinum for a shimnmering effect while the neck has a platinum collar, hand-engraved with the bottle number and spirit strngeth. The platinum bottle-stopper has been crafted by Hamilton & Inches.
Bowmore 1957 is presented with accompanying water glasses and pitcher, also by Nairn and Burns, in a Scottish oak case crated by Peter Toaig.
Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 will be auctioned at Bonhams auction houses in Edinburgh and New York City in October, and while the reserve for the rare releases is set at £100,000 (US$155,000), all proceeds will be donated to Scottish charities.
Of the remaining 10 bottles, two will be archived by Morrison Bowmore, and the rest available for purchase by the public solely at the Bowmore Distillery on Islay, all of which will carry a retail price to match the auctioned bottles’ reserve price.