Black Bowmore DB5 1964 goes on sale for 48 hours

9th February, 2021 by Nicola Carruthers

Sotheby’s is offering a bottle of Black Bowmore DB5 1964, which is expected to sell for up to US$200,000 during the auctioneer’s first two-day spirits sale.

Black Bowmore DB5 1964 was created in partnership between Bowmore and Aston Martin

Black Bowmore DB5 1964 was created in partnership between Bowmore and Aston Martin

The Black Bowmore bottle went on sale yesterday (8 February) at 9am EST and is due to close to bidders tomorrow at 9am EST.

The Black Bowmore DB5 1964 is the first release as part of a collaboration between Islay distillery Bowmore and luxury car maker Aston Martin. It was made available from autumn 2020 priced at £50,000 (US$66,000).

There were only 27 bottles of the liquid produced, with two remaining in Bowmore’s archive. The sale of the bottle is expected to fetch between US$100,000-US$200,000.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist, said: “This rare expression is a high-concept marriage of British craftsmanship. The status of Black Bowmore as one of the greatest whiskies ever produced is fundamentally down to its quality and complexity. There can be no more fitting a tribute to such a legend in the world of whisky than this special partnership with arbiters of sophistication, Aston Martin.

“Sotheby’s has set records for both Bowmore and Aston Martin in recent years and we are delighted to offer the first opportunity for collectors to buy this hybrid bottle at auction in our very first 48-hour only sale for spirits.”

Bottled at 49.6% ABV, the whisky is described as having “intense flavours of mango, passion fruit and acacia honey interwoven with a powerful combination of coffee and tobacco smoke”.

The 31-year-old whisky, aged in a walnut brown oloroso Sherry butt, is said to be a celebration of “a definitive moment in history” for both Bowmore and Aston Martin.

For Bowmore, 1964 was the year a new boiler was installed, which saw the distillery enter the ‘modern age of distilling’ as coal fires were replaced with steam as a means of heating the stills.

Following the release of the Aston Martin DB5 model in 1963, the sports car made its on-screen debut as the vehicle of choice for Sean Connery’s James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger.

The Black Bowmore Aston Martin DB5 comes in a hand-blown glass bottle incorporating the DB5 piston into its design. The whisky comes in a presentation box created from string-grain calfskin, brass latches and nickel plated hinges.

Sotheby’s spirits sales hit US$18 million last year, making up 20% of the company’s annual auction total of US$92m for wine and spirits.

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