The Bowmore x Aston Martin Sold for P13 Million at Auction
Single malt whisky maker Bowmore from Islay auctioned its one-off Bowmore ARC-52: The ‘Mokume Edition’ at Sotheby’s in London last May 26 with proceeds donated to The Bowmore Legacy fund. The final winning bid under Lot 1 had a hammer price of £187,500 or about P13.1 million. The one-of-a-kind whisky had a futuristic looking decanter designed by British luxury carmaker Aston Martin, which used cutting edge technology with a carbon fiber top and traditional Japanese metalworking techniques of Mokume Gane that produces a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns.
Aston Martin used the finest carbon filaments and construction for the sculptural top of the ARC-52 decanter. These are considered as the lightest and strongest carbon fiber components also used for Aston Martin’s high-performance cars, including its hypercar, the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the company’s Formula 1 race cars.
The carbon fiber element of the decanter was created using a unique process that follows the Mokume texture. According to Bowmore, this mimics a natural aesthetic, much like wood grain or layered natural rock. The finish achieved can be said to imitate both the black rocks in the bay of Loch Indaal, home to the Bowmore Distillery, and also the inside of the charred cask where the special, 52-year-old whisky was aged.
The single malt whisky was crafted from a blend using the oldest Bowmore vintages from the 1960s, considered an iconic era of Bowmore distilling.
“As makers of bespoke and beautiful objects, proportion, shape and form, along with careful selection of colors and materials, are incredibly important to us at Aston Martin,” said Marek Reichman, executive vice president and chief creative officer of Aston Martin. “And sometimes, nature can be the best of all designers. So, for inspiration of the decanter for this ingenious and special one-off ARC-52 Mokume Edition, we turned to the black rocks in the bay of Loch Indaal, home to the Bowmore Distillery. We imagined walking those picturesque shores, at magic light, and discovering this wonderous treasure, shaped over eons of time by the elements, suddenly appearing at your feet. We think the vessel containing this magnificent whisky reflects the rarity and distinctiveness of the precious spirit found inside.”
“The very concept of ARC is itself spectacular in both form and contents, but this one-off creation adds even greater depth, intrigue and inspiration to the story of ARC,” said Ron Welsh, Master Blender at Bowmore. “By creating this unique Mokume edition, we can also fulfil our ambition to ‘give back’ to our homeplace through The Bowmore Legacy, by offering collectors and Bowmore lovers something truly special and desirable. As one of my last projects for Bowmore, this one is exceptionally close to my heart and is the perfect climax to an incredibly rewarding and exciting career.”
The Bowmore ARC-52 Mokume Edition according to Sotheby’s had an estimated bid price of £140,000 to £220,000. Aside from the bottle and its contents, the winning bidder will have the opportunity to enjoy an experience at Bowmore Distillery and also get behind the wheel of the limited-edition Aston Martin DBX Bowmore Edition while on Islay. Only 18 examples of this model were created with a unique specification, which included Bowmore-branded copper inlays using copper from the original whisky still to accent the side strakes of the DBX.