Bowmore-54 year old-1957
Lot 112
Bowmore-54 year old-1957
£ 100,000 - 120,000
US$ 130,000 - 160,000


10 Oct 2012, 11:00 BST


Lot Details
Bowmore-54 year old-1957
Bowmore-54 year old-1957

Since 1779 Bowmore has been distilling and perfecting its celebrated Single Malt on the magical island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. Indeed, Bowmore was the first distillery established on this breathtaking Island.

The size of the stills and capacity of the washbacks may have increased, but the way in which whisky is made there and the time-honoured skills employed – from the Maltmen who turn the floor malted barley by hand every four hours, to the Coopers who prepare and keep the casks sound – these have not changed one little bit in well over two centuries.

Starting with the same humble ingredients – water from the free-flowing Laggan River, sun-ripened barley and yeast have been nurtured and coaxed forth, using hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste. A single tap of the sherry butt or oak bourbon barrel with a sounding hammer will reveal how the spirit inside is performing, to those who know. A thimbleful from the cask merely confirms the Chief Blender's obvious delight with the contents.

Distilled and laid to rest in the oldest maturation warehouse in Scotland, Bowmore 1957 has spent over a half a century developing the finest of flavours. Singled out as a truly exceptional cask back in 1995, a close eye has been kept on its progress, regularly checking the twists and turns in the spirit's journey, until the time was ripe for its release – at the peak of perfection.

Bowmore 1957 is a celebration of not just one timeless skill, but many.

Each of the 12 bottles produced has been hand-blown and sculpted by two of the world's foremost glass artists. Using the same basic tools as the Ancient Egyptians and Romans employed over 2,000 years ago – jacks to shape and tweezers to apply the detail – Brodie Nairn and Nicola Burns have hand-sculpted molten glass in the shape of the waves that constantly break over Islay's coastline and against Bowmore's No. 1 Vaults' sea-facing walls.

Encased within the glass are strands of one of the rarest and most precious materials on earth, platinum. Extravagant yes, but a fitting tribute to the time and effort that have been invested in the whisky itself. Adorning each of the 12 is a platinum neck collar and stopper, individually handcrafted by Hamilton & Inches, Warrant Holder to The Queen.

Under the leadership of Workshop Manager Jon Hunt, a team of the finest silversmiths have faithfully reproduced the largest and most exclusive commission of its kind that Jon has seen in his long career, at one of the last workshops of its kind in Scotland and the world.

A Single Malt this rare requires the attention to detail and personal touch that only the master craft of hand-engraving can provide.

The box in which this bottle of Bowmore 1957 is presented has been crafted using hand-selected pieces of Scottish oak sourced from the Arniston Estate near Edinburgh, by acclaimed woodsmith Peter Toaig creating a presentation box unlike any other.

The swirling grain and ripples of the timber are remarkable enough, but the
quality of the workmanship involved can be seen. No mechanical fasteners, instead, Peter has fashioned one of the oldest joints known to man, the dovetail, using the finest of pins and a specially ground chisel to pare out the tail. The joint, though cut entirely by hand, fits together so tightly you would think it was crafted from a single piece of oak.

The bottle is cradled in hand-carved cork, soft to the touch but firm enough to protect the result of more than half a century's maturation.
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Bowmore-54 year old-1957
Distilled 1957, bottled 2012. Distilled and hand bottled by Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd. Decanter number "1" of a limited edition of 12.
Hand blown platinum encrusted crafted decanter with engraved platinum collar and seal. In wooden and cork lined presentation case accompanied by two similarly hand blown glasses and water jug to the decanter. Level: filled to 700 ml. Single malt, 42.1% volume
1 glass decanter


  • Cask background:

    A collection of 1957 casks matured in second fill sherry butts were bottled in 1995 but one in particular was held back because it was just a bit more special, a bit more exceptional than the rest. Since 1995 this cask has been closely examined every six months. In 2000 this cask was finally moved into a second fill bourbon barrel.

    Tasting note:

    This 54 Years Old Bowmore 1957 is a symphony of aromas and flavours never before experienced. At first breath, an elixir of blueberries and wild figs with mellow almonds, tropical fruit and rich oaky overtones hits the nose, a reminder of those long years spent in the No. 1 Vaults. The palate reveals layer upon layer of sweet and refined ocean tastes with soft blueberries, cassis and figs, sea salt and fresh eucalyptus. Next, a wisp of teasing smoke and traces of dark chocolate fuse with notes of grapefruit and juicy oak, carried along by a warming marine breeze. This sensory journey ends with a long and whispering finish of cassis, bergamot and star anise.
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  1. Martin Green
    Specialist - Whisky
    22 Queen St
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom EH2 1JX
    Work +44 7775 842 626
    FaxFax: +44 131 220 2547
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