Sotheby’s to offer complete Black Bowmore series

Auction house Sotheby’s and Scotch whisky maker Bowmore have announced that they will be offering a complete set of the distillery’s ‘Black Bowmore’ series at a spring sale in Hong Kong next year.

The five bottles, spanning each release from 1993 to 2016, will also be presented in a bespoke ‘Archive Cabinet’ made by the craftsman John Galvin.

The whiskies will be offered in Hong Kong next spring (date to be confirmed) and have a pre-sale estimate of HK$4 million (US$500,000/£400,000).

The Black Bowmore has been described as the “jewel in the crown” of the Bowmore’s malts. The spirit was distilled in 1964 and aged in ex-Oloroso Sherry casks.

The first release of the spirit was in 1993 when it was 29 years old, with subsequent releases over the following two years as 30 and 31 year-old malts, a fourth release in 2007 at 42 years and, most recently, in 2016 at 50 years-old.

Initially sold for £100 a bottle it has gone on to become one of the most collectible whiskies in the world, with bottle now going for many thousands of pounds each.

The winning bidder will also receive an invitation to the Bowmore distillery for a tasting of other old and rare malts while the proceeds of the sale will be donated to an Islay-based charity.

Johnny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist, said: “Black Bowmore is one of my personal favourite whiskies and a dram I have been lucky enough to try on a number of occasions. 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. We are thrilled to partner with Bowmore for this landmark offering in the world of collectible whisky.”

David Turner, Bowmore distillery manager, added: “Black Bowmore truly is the jewel in our crown and it takes its rightful place in the distillery’s history for firmly putting Bowmore on the map as an iconic, collectable whisky. This full collection of five Black Bowmore bottlings is spectacular, made even more special by the cabinet within which it is beautifully housed. 

“Each element of the cabinet comes from our home; from the workings of the distillery preserving time gone by. This exceptional detail not only reflects the craftsmanship inherent in Bowmore, but makes this unique masterpiece rooted in our Islay home. This means whoever buys this not only owns some of our spirit’s history, but also actual elements of the distillery’s production history.”

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