The Bowmore Distillery, nestled on the picturesque Islay island, has once again teamed up with celebrated graphic artist and illustrator Frank Quitely to unveil the latest addition to their collection - "Lovers Transformed." This captivating duo of limited-edition travel retail-exclusive collectible single malts, consisting of a 23-Year-Old and a 36-Year-Old, pays homage to the rich history, myth, and legends of Islay. The release, available in selected travel retail locations across the globe, showcases the distillery's commitment to crafting exceptional and unique whisky experiences.
The Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old
The 23-Year-Old expression, bottled at a formidable 50.9% ABV, boasts a unique finishing touch. It has been lovingly aged in refill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry-seasoned European Oak casks, resulting in a distinctive flavor profile. With only 8,000 bottles available, this expression promises exclusivity and rarity for whisky enthusiasts.
Official tasting notes reveal a fascinating journey of flavors: on the nose, it begins with the unmistakable freshness of Atlantic Ocean sea salt, soon giving way to more opulent notes of toffee, salted caramel, tanned leather, honeycomb, stewed apples, rhubarb, and a hint of ground ginger. Hints of rose petals and Parma violets add an aromatic dimension.
On the palate, the liquid dances with sweet, peaty notes reminiscent of golden maple syrup, demerara sugar, cocoa beans, dark chocolate, and liquorice root. A subtle undertone of hazelnut and tannins weaves through. The finish is a tapestry of richness and earthiness, leaving a lingering, honeyed sweetness on the palate.
The Lovers Transformed 36 Year Old
The Lovers Transformed 36-Year-Old, bottled at a refined 45.2% ABV, takes its place as the oldest release within the Frank Quitely collaboration. A mere 700 bottles of this exquisite expression are available, making it a true collector's item.
This 36-Year-Old has been meticulously finished in first-fill Pinot Noir wine barriques, infusing it with a unique character. The tasting notes are equally enchanting, revealing a deep amber whisky with an aromatic bouquet. It combines notes of crisp green apple, violet, and fresh pineapple, transitioning to herbal scents of sage and thyme. Plum, dried cloves, apricots, and a touch of sweet, spicy cinnamon and fudge complete the olfactory experience.
On the palate, the whisky exhibits an oily and earthy character before unveiling sweet vanilla, juicy black currants, and lemon flavors. An intriguing undercurrent of sea salt, white pepper, liquorice root, and oak adds depth and complexity. The finish is a symphony of richness, smoothness, and hints of orange, spice, and gentle peat smoke.
The Artistic Touch
Frank Quitely's artwork for the Lovers Transformed collection visually reinterprets the timeless legend of star-crossed lovers. The tale unfolds as the daughter of a Pictish King from the East falls in love with a Celtic warrior from the West. Their quest for unity leads them from the Scottish mainland to the island of Islay, but a thunderous storm claims their boat, leaving them lost at sea. The legend lives on, with two white gulls forever soaring high in the Islay skies, torn between the East and West.
Quitely's illustrations capture the essence of this mythical narrative, embodying the history of Islay and Bowmore's unique style. These designs, carefully integrated into the packaging, transform the bottles into highly collectible and prestigious editions.
As Manuel Gonzalez, Beam Suntory Brand Marketing Director Global Travel Retail, explains, "Lovers Transformed" showcases the distillery's commitment to providing travelers with sought-after exclusives while harnessing exceptional storytelling to build brand presence and create compelling offerings for discerning consumers.
Availability and Pricing
The Lovers Transformed 23-Year-Old is priced at $470, while the Lovers Transformed 36-Year-Old reflects its rarity and craftsmanship at $4,000. These exclusive expressions are available for purchase from Bowmore in select regions, including China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, MEA, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, and the US.
"Lovers Transformed" by Bowmore is more than just whisky; it's a blend of artistry, craftsmanship, and storytelling, making it a unique addition to any whisky aficionado's collection.
Bowmore is a distinguished Scottish distillery located on the island of Islay, known for producing exceptional single malt Scotch whisky. Established in 1779, it is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland and holds a rich history steeped in the traditions of whisky-making. Bowmore's location on the shores of Loch Indaal on Islay's southeastern coast plays a significant role in shaping the character of its whisky.
One of the defining characteristics of Bowmore whisky is its distinctive peaty and smoky flavor profile. Islay is renowned for its peat bogs, and Bowmore sources its peat locally, using it to dry the malted barley. The peat smoke infuses the barley with a unique smokiness that is characteristic of Islay whiskies. Bowmore's peat levels vary across its expressions, allowing for a range of flavor intensities.
The distillery utilizes traditional methods of production, including copper pot stills and oak cask aging. Bowmore's whisky is aged primarily in oak casks, some of which are ex-bourbon barrels, while others are sherry casks, contributing to the complexity and depth of flavor in their expressions.
Bowmore offers a diverse range of single malt Scotch whiskies, catering to a wide spectrum of whisky enthusiasts. Their core expressions, such as Bowmore 12 Year Old and Bowmore 18 Year Old, are well-regarded for their balanced combination of peat smoke, fruitiness, and maritime influences, reflecting the distillery's coastal location.
In addition to its core range, Bowmore frequently releases limited edition and special cask finish expressions, showcasing their commitment to innovation and creativity in whisky-making. These releases often highlight unique flavor profiles and aging techniques, drawing the attention of collectors and connoisseurs.
Bowmore's visitor center welcomes whisky enthusiasts from around the world, offering tours and tastings that provide insights into the distillery's history and production process. The opportunity to explore the distillery and enjoy its whisky in its homeland adds to the allure of Bowmore for those visiting Islay.
In summary, Bowmore is a respected and storied distillery with a long history of producing distinctive Islay single malt Scotch whisky. Its commitment to tradition, craftsmanship, and its signature peaty character ensures its continued prominence in the world of Scotch whisky.