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Bowmore’s oldest ever whisky sells for massive £562,500

Bowmore’s oldest ever whisky sells for record-breaking £562,500 at the Distillers One of One charity auction today. 

(Image: the Bowmore STAC which sold at auction for £562,500)

The news follows the Distillers One of One auction today at Hopetoun House near Edinburgh, in partnership with Sotheby’s, where the Bowmore STAC sold for the record-breaking price.

Distilled in 1962, the 41% ABV rare single malt stored in second-filled American oak hogsheads within the distillery’s No.1 Vaults was presented in an unusual vessel inspired by its island surroundings, meant to replicate a rock face. Tasting notes include soft orchard fruits and clover honey, with fresh pineapple, subtle honeydew melon and pecan nuts and floral notes of honeysuckle with menthol and vanilla along with ocean minerality on the lips. 

Speaking about the whisky, db writer Richard Woodard described The Bowmore as coming in an “irresistibly tactile, slab-like bottle” that is the result of many, many abandoned attempts to achieve the perfect look, and is designed to recall the sea stacks of Bowmore’s Islay home.

Woodard also said: “There appears to be no air inside it – the liquid reaches all the way to the top – but some clever physics (reputedly inspired by a cigarette lighter) has concealed the air bubble from sight. Pouring a dram, you sense, will require a little bit of effort and dexterity.”

Proceeds from The Distillers One of One auction will benefit The Youth Action Fund, which has been created by The Distillers’ Charity to support disadvantaged young adults in Scotland. Working with charity partners who offer education and vocational training programmes, including distillation training, the fund will provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, discover their values and be work-ready.

This year marks the second edition of the charity auction, following the inaugural sale in 2021, comprising 39 lots of extraordinary, one-off and never-to-be-repeated whiskies direct from distilleries around Scotland, along with a series of experiences for the successful bidders.

Estimated prices for each lot range from £2,000 to £500,000, with the sale expected to raise more than £1million in total.

Robbie Millar, managing director – Scotch & Irish brand house at Beam Suntory, said: “The sale of the oldest ever Bowmore whisky today is a landmark in the story of this incredible distillery. At Bowmore, we are proud that our whiskies are considered such sought-after items amongst collectors and whisky connoisseurs globally and STAC further demonstrates just how exceptional Bowmore spirit ages and captures flavour so exceptionally over time.

“Vitally, the purpose of the auction is paramount as it gives back to a truly worthy cause in Scotland providing a positive impact for years to come.   At Beam Suntory, we have a long standing commitment to supporting our communities across Scotland so this result allows us to keep driving this ambition forward.”

Jonny Fowle, vice president, global head of whisky at Sotheby’s, said: “Bowmore STAC defines precisely what Distillers One of One is all about. The oldest and rarest whisky from a distillery presented in the most unique of formats.

“As a magnum sculpture that redefines the physical principles of a whisky bottle, STAC is a pivotal moment in Scotch Whisky production, design and philanthropy, which this incredible result attests to.”

Related news:

A closer look at the ‘awe-inspiring’ Distillers One of One Auction

Sotheby’s unveils full line-up of this year’s Distillers One of One auction of ultra-rare whiskies

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