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Bowmore unveils two limited edition whiskies

Islay distillery Bowmore has launched two limited edition expressions - Bowmore 40 Years Old and the Bowmore 1981 - that have been handcrafted for “the discerning single malt and outdoor lover”.

Priced at £6,500 and £270 a bottle respectively, the whiskies are collectibles.

Just 53 bottles of the Bowmore 40 Years Old will be released for sale worldwide. Every bottle is a work of art.  Designed by two of Scotland’s foremost glass-blowers Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns, each one is hand-blown and sculpted using molten glass and stones collected from the Islay shore – no two bottles are the same. Hamilton and Inches, one of Scotland’s most prestigious jewellers, added the finishing touch to each bottle with a hand-engraved solid silver collar. Finally the whisky is presented on a polished slab of slate providing a fitting plinth to display the bottle at its best.

On the nose, Bowmore 40 YO is smoked oak, sweet vanilla cream, poached pears and a gentle earthy peatiness. The palate reveals wood spice, orange peel, fresh pink grapefruit and sweet pear, with the mild influence of peat smoke, bringing balance to the sweet and fruity characteristics.

Also launched this month (September) is the Bowmore 1981, the first in the Bowmore vintage series. This rare and limited release of only 402 bottles worldwide is presented in a wooden gift box with a ‘weather-beaten’ brown leather strap and copper buckle, each accompanied by a hand-signed and numbered certificate by the distillery manager.

On the nose, the Bowmore 1981 reveals treacle toffee, ripe figs, smoked vanilla pods and a lightly fragrant fruitiness. On the palate, anticipate a whisper of earthy peat-smoke, giving way to more fruity notes, perfectly balanced with the tang of Atlantic sea-salt.

Both limited editions will be available at specialist whisky suppliers through October and November.

About Bowmore
Founded in 1779, Bowmore is the oldest 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; we carefully smoke our malt and use skills handed down from generation to generation to craft a perfectly balanced Single Malt.
Bowmore's adherence to traditional production methods helps to shape the character of its Single Malts. It’s one of only a few distilleries anywhere which still produces its own floor malted barley, hand-turned by traditional wooden malt shovel. The water is drawn from the Laggan River, with its rich peaty overtones, and it's the same Islay peat that fires the malt drying kiln.
Bowmore Distillery's close proximity to the sea is also vital in determining the final character of its spirit. The legendary Bowmore No. 1 Vaults is where most 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, sherry or claret, gradually developing rich and mellow flavours. It's 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 Whiskies.

About Islay
Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, and is also known as "The Queen of the Hebrides." Its mild climate and rich peaty soil make it ideal for creating whisky, and despite having a population of not much more than 3,000, it's home to no fewer than eight distilleries.



1 September 2010 - Felicity Murray