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Bowmore decanter fetches £225,000

A decanter of one of Bowmore’s oldest whiskies, Bowmore Arc-52: The Mokume Edition, has been sold at auction for £225,000 (US$279,556).

Bowmore ARC-52 The Mokume Edition
Bowmore Arc-52 The Mokume Edition sold at Sotheby’s London

The 52-year-old whisky is housed within a ‘ground-breaking’ vessel designed by luxury British car maker Aston Martin.

Daryl Haldane, global private client director, Beam Suntory, commented: “We are incredibly proud that this auction continues Bowmore’s highly prized single malt status amongst collectors and whisky enthusiasts around the world, who appreciate its craftsmanship and heritage.” 

The concept for this one-of-a-kind edition takes its name from the Japanese metalworking technique ‘mokume-gane’, which produces a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns.

The carbon fibre top of the decanter has been created using a unique process which mirrors the mokume texture and mimics a natural aesthetic, similar to wood grain or layered natural rock.

The finish achieved is said to imitate the black rocks in the bay of Loch Indaal, home to the Bowmore Distillery, and also the inside of the charred cask where the whisky was aged.

The whisky has been crafted from a marriage of some of the oldest Bowmore vintages from the 1960s, described as an ‘iconic era of Bowmore distilling’.

It is said to boast sweet, fruity, and citric characters, with flavours of green apple, apricot and tangerine that are ‘seamlessly merged’ with the nutty notes of macadamia and walnuts.

Meanwhile aromas of apricots, green apples, orange zest and guava are also present.

All proceeds raised from the auction will go towards a dedicated fund to support the community of Islay.

“We are excited to donate the proceeds back to Islay to support vital initiatives for the community providing a positive impact for years to come,” Haldane added.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s head of whisky and spirits, North America and EMEA, said: “Bowmore’s Arc-52 Mokume Edition is as much a masterpiece of design as it is an exclusive whisky. These two legacy British brands have produced something that is visually spectacular to house a totally unique liquid time capsule.

“Today’s most dedicated collectors aim not only to collect legendary bottles, but particularly those which are unique. The price achieved for the Mokume is testament to this.”

In addition to the decanter, the winning bidder will also will have the opportunity to enjoy an experience at Bowmore Distillery on Islay, experiencing the limited edition Aston Martin DBX Bowmore Edition, the brand’s first luxury SUV.

Bowmore launched the original edition of Arc-52 in June last year.

Aston Martin first partnered with Bowmore in 2019. Since then, the companies have created three travel retail-exclusive whiskies, and a £50,000 (US$66,000) whisky, called Black Bowmore DB5 1964.

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