The small Scottish Isle of Islay (pronounced eye-la), often referred to as the Queen of the Hebrides, is the Inner Hebrides’ southernmost island. With a friendly population of just over 3,000 people, stunning scenery, mild weather, and most notably the nine distilleries on the island, it attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. The whisky distilled here is known for its smoky aroma; some brand names are Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg.
Bowmore Islay, the island’s oldest licensed distillery (founded in 1779), announced this past August that it was teaming up with Aston Martin to present a limited edition “DB5” bottle of 1964 Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The whisky was initially bottled in 1995 and rebottled in 2020 for the limited release of just 27 bottles. Of these, 25 were offered for sale, and Bowmore kept 2 for their whisky archives.
The year 1964 was significant for both Aston Martin and Bowmore. For Aston Martin, it was the year of the James Bond Goldfinger movie; this was the first time Bond drove the Aston Martin DB5, and it has turned into a long-term relationship. As for Bowmore, it was the year that the distillery received a new boiler and entered the modern age of distillery, producing a whisky that became iconic, Black Bowmore, which is one of the rarest and most sought-after single malts.
Bowmore offered the limited edition whisky in a special presentation box made from string-grain calfskin, brass latches, and nickel-plated hinges. Glasstorm, a contemporary glass studio in Scotland, created the handcrafted bottle, which incorporated a genuine Aston Marin DB5 piston onto the bottle. The original price from the distillery for the 1964 Single Malt whisky was £50K ($65K)- really expensive!
Well, one of the bottles was just offered and sold in a single lot online auction where you had only 48 hours to bid on the rare whisky. There was no provenance listed on the lot description, so I can’t say whether the distillery put it up for auction or a secondary market sale. Still, the estimate did seem slightly aggressive for a short turnaround -estimated to make $100-200k, it just missed the mark when it sold for $95K ($118,750 w/p). I trust the new owner will enjoy their purchase – Cheers!