This month, in association with Sotheby’s Hong Kong, Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Whisky will offer a rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a unique collector’s item – the Bowmore Archive Cabinet.
Containing all five releases of the iconic Black Bowmore spanning from 1993 to 2016, the bespoke art piece is expected to reach in the region of £400,000 (HK$4,000,000 / US$500,000).
All proceeds raised from the auction will go directly to the Islay Development Initiative (IDI) to ensure a lasting legacy at the home of the Bowmore distillery.
Designed by master craftsman John Galvin, the Archive Cabinet captures the true heart and soul of Islay and the Bowmore Distillery. Taking inspiration from his time on Islay and made by hand over two years, the Archive Cabinet uses materials that can be found throughout the distillery, creating a true legacy piece.
Galvin, Master Cabinet maker commented: “The Bowmore Archive Cabinet is truly a labour of love for me. Two years in the making, every part of this piece has been meticulously created with Islay and the Bowmore distillery in the forefront of my mind. To capture the heart and soul of the people, the place and the whisky which make Bowmore was truly inspiring, captivating and rewarding.”
Black Bowmore was distilled in 1964 and the spirit was filled into oak casks previously used for maturing sweet Oloroso sherry and transferred to the No. 1 vaults at one of Scotland’s oldest maturation warehouses. Hidden in a special location, this was the perfect environment for long maturation. Capturing decades of character, this collection celebrates this sublimely rich and decadent single malt which defines the heart of Bowmore.
Black Bowmore was initially released in 1993 as a 29-year-old, with further releases of a 30 year old and 31 year old over the following two years. It appeared as part of a trilogy in 2007 (42 year old), and finally in 2016 as “the last cask” (50 year old).
Initially sold for £100, Black Bowmore became one of the most sought-after whiskies in the world for its tropical fruit flavour and the legacy continues today; a whisky that offers an experience like no other, in its alignment of concentration of colour and fragrance, intensity and subtlety, balanced smoke and fruit.
Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, said, “Black Bowmore is a series that transcends the concept of collectible whisky. Its value has increased exponentially over the years, which can be attributed to its undeniable quality and, now that so many bottles have been consumed, its newfound rarity.
“John Galvin’s bespoke cabinet is the ultimate celebration of Black Bowmore’s origins and history, transforming this coveted collection into a unique, one-of-a- kind work marrying whisky and design. We are thrilled to partner with Bowmore Distillery for this landmark offering, which will go on display in Hong Kong alongside a wide range of material from our luxury and fine art categories – a fitting testament to the work of art that this truly is.”
The ground-breaking Bowmore Legacy project will see the proceeds utilised to support the employability, training and housing needs of Bowmore’s young people, enabling a range of vital outcomes from affordable and supported housing to key employment skills for young people with barriers to employment. The key goal of the Bowmore Legacy is to futureproof the island’s distilling industry for tomorrow by investing in young people’s needs today.
The Sotheby’s Wine & Spirit Spring Sale Series in Hong Kong will take place on 16-18 April.