Islay, Scotland (November 13, 2017) – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Whisky, the oldest licensed distillery on Scotland’s isle of Islay, announces the global release of BOWMORE® 1966 50 YEARS OLD, a rare and refined whisky from a golden year in Bowmore’s heritage. Only one cask of this remarkable spirit was set aside in 1966 – the same year that Bowmore Single Malt Scotch was first officially bottled. It has spent 50 years aging in Bowmore’s No. 1 Vaults, one of the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouses. Only 74 bottles of this rare whisky have been produced for the world and this December, a portion of those will be available in the U.S. It is the third edition in the Bowmore 50 Years Old VAULT LEGENDS COLLECTION with a suggested retail price of $30,000 (750ml/41.5% ABV).
Bowmore 1966 50 Years Old celebrates a unique year for the Islay distillery. It was distilled in 1966 – the same year that Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whisky was first officially bottled and this cask gem was nurtured over the years by legendary Bowmore Distillery Manager Eddie MacAffer, who joined Bowmore distillery that very same year.
David Turner, Bowmore Distillery Manager, comments: “To this day Eddie MacAffer is renowned at the Bowmore distillery for his passion and knowledge, which he so proudly showcased throughout his 50 years at the distillery. I am honored to celebrate such a pivotal year in Bowmore’s history and launch this incredible whisky, which was not only nurtured by Eddie himself but also created the very year Eddie joined us. The Bowmore 1966 50 Years Old demonstrates the rewards of our meticulous aging process and proves the unparalleled quality of the whiskies coming from our passionate and dedicated distillery team. This single malt whisky is set to be treasured among Bowmore fans and will undoubtedly build upon Bowmore’s legendary collectors status.”
This remarkably rare limited edition bottling has, over its 50-year maturation in the No. 1 Vaults, unlocked the exotic fruit tastes distinctive of 1960s Bowmore whiskies that have been savored by connoisseurs worldwide and are renowned in some of the most collectible Bowmore expressions.
Bowmore 1966 50 Years Old is the third expression to debut from the Bowmore 50 Year Old VAULT LEGENDS COLLECTION, a series honoring the rare single malts that were first distilled and began aging in the No. 1 Vaults during the 1960s, an era known for producing some of Bowmore’s most collectible bottlings. Bowmore 1961 50 Years Old was introduced in December 2016 in the U.S. and Black Bowmore 1964 50 Years Old was introduced in June 2017 in the U.S., and demand for both has been extraordinary.
THE 1966 BOWMORE BOTTLE AND WOOD CASE
Sitting at the pinnacle of Bowmore’s portfolio, Bowmore 1966 50 Years Old is presented in a handmade crystal decanter boasting sterling silver adornments and is housed in a hand crafted cabinet made from quality Scottish oak. At the center of the each cabinet lies five hand laid silver tree rings depicting the five decades of the rare vintage’s maturation. The characterful nature of the Scottish oak means each individual bottling will be entirely unique with no two bottles being the same, echoing the rare and unique features of the Bowmore 1966 50 Years Old.
This exceptional expression has been aged for 50 years in a single ex-bourbon hogshead cask, developing a complex flavor and beautiful golden amber hue. On the nose, Bowmore 1966 50 Years Old offers elegant bursts of lychee, pineapple, and watermelon, developing into light floral notes and a dry finish on the palate. It is perfectly balanced with a silky whisper of smooth syrup.
Founded in 1779, Bowmore is the oldest licensed distillery on Islay, one of the Scottish isles which make up the region known as the 'Islands' in the lexicon of Whisky. The other regions are the Highlands, Speyside and the Lowlands. Islay malts are famous for their characteristic smokiness and Bowmore is no exception; the malt is carefully smoked in a peat-fired kiln, using skills handed down from generation to generation to craft a perfectly balanced Single Malt.
Bowmore adheres to traditional production methods which helps to shape the character of its single malts. Today, it prides itself as one of the rare distilleries which still produces its own floor malted barley, hand-turned by a traditional wooden malt shovel and hand drawn machinery. Water for the whiskies is specially drawn from the Laggan River, with its peaty overtones, the same Islay peat that fires the malt-drying kiln.
Bowmore Distillery's proximity to the sea is also vital in determining the final character of its spirit. The legendary Bowmore No. 1 Vaults, one of the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouses, is where some of the whiskies spend their long lives resting quietly in the cool, dark, damp cellars below sea level, oblivious to the waves thrashing the vault's sea-facing wall. They mature in oak casks, previously used for bourbon and sherry, gradually developing rich and mellow flavors. It is this combination of peat, barley, sea breeze, water, wood, people and tradition that together create the perfectly balanced warm and smoky character of Bowmore Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.
Bowmore domestic product range: Bowmore 12 Years Old, 15 Years Old, 18 Years Old and 25 Years Old.
www.bowmore.com; Facebook | Twitter | Instagram: BOWMORE