Introducing the Second Edition in the Bowmore® 50 Year Old VAULT LEGENDS Collection

Corporate and Financial News


Islay, Scotland (June 2017) - Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Whisky, the oldest licensed distillery on Scotland’s isle of Islay, announces the U.S. release of the fifth and final edition of the exclusive Black Bowmore® 1964 distillation. The last cask rediscovered of Black Bowmore 1964 has spent an astonishing 50 years maturing in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults, the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouse, making this captivating whisky the most aged expression of the Black Bowmore series. A mere 159 bottles were produced and released globally. This July, a portion of these bottles will be available stateside as part of the Bowmore 50 Year Old VAULT LEGENDS collection at a suggested retail price of $25,000 (750ml/40.9% ABV). 

Black Bowmore 1964 50 Year Old is the second expression in the Bowmore 50 Year Old 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. The first in the series, Bowmore 1961 50 Year Old was introduced in December 2016 and is no longer available due to extremely high demand. 

Black Bowmore was distilled on November 5, 1964, and over the years, has become one of the most rare and sought-after single malt whiskies ever created. With four acclaimed releases – in 1993 (29 Year Old), 1994 (30 Year Old), 1995 (31 Year Old) and 2007 (42 Year Old) – one last cask was rediscovered in the darkest corner of the No.1 Vaults. Having been carefully nurtured by Bowmore’s master craftsmen, the last cask of Black Bowmore has all the hallmarks of a collector’s whisky.

Distillery Manager David Turner, whose Grandfather worked on the original bottling over 50 years ago, said “Black Bowmore is one of those whiskies that are spoken about in hushed tones by collectors and aficionados around the world. To have the opportunity to try Black Bowmore now – at the ripe old age of 50 years – is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” 

The unique environment of Bowmore’s No. 1 Vaults has ensured that this sequestered last cask of Black Bowmore has developed a rich and intense yet perfectly balanced flavor of exceptional depth and quality. After 50 years of meticulous maturation in the vaults, Black Bowmore offers a sublime elegance with flavors of tropical fruit and honeyed black truffle complemented by Bowmore’s signature peat smoke notes. With its exquisite deep black pearl color imparted from the Oloroso sherry casks that it was matured in, Black Bowmore 1964 50 Year Old is beautifully rounded and complex.

A refined whisky that is as beautiful inside as out, Black Bowmore 1964 is presented in a beautiful hand-blown bottle created by renowned sculpting studio Glasstorm with cork tops made by Scottish Silver. Each bottle is filled and sealed by hand and encased in a handmade Scottish oak cabinet created by John Galvin of John Galvin Design.

About the Last Cask of Black Bowmore

The tale of the 159 bottles of the half-century-old last cask of Black Bowmore is as beguiling as it is complex.

On November 5, 1964, seven first-fill Oloroso sherry hogshead casks (3708, 3710, 3713, 3714, 3715, 3716, 3717) were filled to mature meticulously in the No. 1 Vaults.

Every cask and liquid has a special aging relationship and, in October 2002, it was discovered that casks 3708 and 3714 were quickly losing their liquid to the angel’s share. As such, on October 23, 2002, these casks were combined into a single cask to preserve this precious liquid.

In 2007, 827 bottles of Black Bowmore 42 Year Old from casks 3710, 3713, 3715, 3716 and 3717 were released. Fortuitously as it turns out, the previously married cask was overlooked and was left undisturbed in the coolest, darkest corner of the No. 1 Vaults to continue its magical aging process.

There the story ended, or so it was thought, until this last cask of Black Bowmore was rediscovered when trawling through the stock ledgers in 2014. 


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 Year Old, 15 Year Old, 18 Year Old and 25 Year Old.; Facebook | Twitter | Instagram: BOWMORE

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As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Hornitos and Sauza tequila, EFFEN and Pinnacle vodka, Sipsmith gin, and Midori liqueur.  

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