Following the Sotheby’s Rare Whisky & Moutai Live auction in Hong Kong, the one-of-a-kind Bowmore Archive Cabinet has sold for £409,000 ($563,000 / HK$4,375,000) – a new landmark price for Bowmore at auction.
The piece comprises a rare, full collection of Black Bowmore whisky, first distilled in 1964. Following distillation, the liquid was filled into ex-Oloroso sherry casks and transferred to the No. 1 vaults where it was hidden in a 'special location’ in one of Scotland’s oldest maturation warehouses.
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 as a 42 year-old, and finally in 2016 as ‘the last cask’, as a 50 year-old whisky.
The cabinet itself was designed by John Galvin, inspired by the Bowmore distillery. Inside the cabinet, the hand-patinaed copper captures the ‘natural ageing’ of Bowmore’s own copper stills and kettles, which have been shaped and aged over time by the island environment. The use of washback wood for the drawers features iron band marking still intact, and the former Bowmore spirit safe, first used in 1924, has also been repurposed on the cabinet’s base.
The Bowmore Distillery on Islay
Through this special collection of liquid, and the cabinet that houses it, the Bowmore Archive Cabinet captures decades of character from the Bowmore distillery, and celebrates the ‘sublimely rich and decadent single malt’ which has come to define Bowmore.
All proceeds raised from the auction will go direct to the Islay Development Initiative (IDI) to ensure a lasting legacy at the home of the Bowmore distillery.
Jessica Spence, president of brands at Beam Suntory, commented, “We are delighted with the successful sale of the unique Bowmore Archive Cabinet at Sotheby’s Rare Whisky & Moutai Live sale in Hong Kong this weekend. We are incredibly proud that this auction has cemented Bowmore as such a highly prized single malt amongst collectors and whisky enthusiasts around the world, who appreciate its craftsmanship and heritage.
“We are excited to donate the proceeds to The Bowmore Legacy, a partnership with Islay Development Initiative, which will support the employability, training and housing needs of young people living in the town of Bowmore on Islay for years to come. This project has allowed us to honour our long-standing commitment Beam Suntory’s Growing for Good agenda which includes support for our communities.”
The Bowmore Archive Cabinet on display