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Bowmore whisky sells for £225,000 at auction

A special edition of Bowmore’s ARC-52 whisky has been sold by Sotheby’s at auction for £225,000 earlier today.

All proceeds (£187,500 before VAT) raised from the auction go towards a fund to support the community of Islay, and the winning bidder also won an opportunity to enjoy an experience at Bowmore Distillery on Islay with the limited-edition Aston Martin DBX Bowmore Edition SUV.

Sotheby’s auctioned the one-off 52-year old vintage whisky in a unique decanter, specially designed by Aston Martin, following its ARC-52 collaboration. This particular Bowmore ARC-52, The ‘Mokume Edition’, was created as part of this ongoing partnership.

“Incredibly proud”

Daryl Haldane, global private client director, Beam Suntory, said: “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.

“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.”

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.”


It comes after the release last June of the two companies’ ARC-52 collaboration, which retailed for US$75,000 at the time. The two companies described it as “the pinnacle of their partnership”, with only 100 hand-blown decanters created and released on a staggered basis.  

The one-off Mokume edition comprises a unique decanter, housing some of the oldest Bowmore vintages from the 1960s created by Master Blender Ron Welsh. It takes its name from the Japanese metalworking technique of ‘Mokume-Gane’ which produces a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns.

The carbon fibre top of the decanter has been created using a process that mirrors the mokume texture and mimics a natural aesthetic, much like wood grain or layered natural rock. The inspiration is said to be the black rocks in the bay of Loch Indaal, where the Bowmore Distillery is situated, as well as the inside of the charred cask, where the whisky was aged.

“We imagined walking those picturesque shores, at magic light, and discovering this wondrous treasure, shaped over eons of time by the elements, suddenly appearing at your feet,” Marek Reichman, executive vice president & chief creative officer, Aston Martin said.

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