04 Aug If You Love Rare Old Scotch Whisky, This Is What $25,000 Buys You
As the oldest licensed distillery in one of Scotland’s most revered whisky making locales, the isle of Islay, venerable Bowmore is already near the top of the list for many whisky fans and collectors, especially those who like the peaty seaside style. Its older and rare editions are especially prized, and it does not get much older and rare than the Black Bowmore 1964 50-Year Old.
The distillery just announced the U.S. release of the fifth and final edition of the hyper limited 1964 edition, from the last known cask. Here’s’ the company’s story: On November 5, 1964, seven first-fill Oloroso sherry hogshead casks were filled and set aside to mature in Bowmore’s No. 1 Vaults. Older casks are checked regularly while ageing, and old wood is quirky, so in October 2002 it was determined that two casks were too quickly losing their liquid to evaporation – “the angel’s share.” These were combined into a single cask – and then there were six.
In 2007, 827 bottles of Black Bowmore 42-Year Old from five of the casks were released as a special limited edition. Supposedly, the cask recombined five years earlier was overlooked and was left undisturbed in the coolest, darkest corner of the No. 1 Vaults, the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouse. Like so many rare whiskies recently, it was “rediscovered,” after Black Bowmore 1964 has spent 50 years maturing, and the yield was just 159 bottles, released globally. This month (July 2017), the U.S. allocation of these bottles will be available at retail as the second expression in the Bowmore 50-Year Old “Vault Legends” Collection, a series that honors rare single malts distilled and set to age in the No. 1 Vaults during the 1960s, an era known for producing some of Bowmore’s most collectible bottlings. The first in the series, a Bowmore 1961, was introduced last December and quickly sold out. The newest 1964 release has a suggested retail price of $25,000 and will need to be special ordered through high end wine and spirt retail specialists.