Aston Martin and Bowmore create $65,000 per bottle whisky
Aston Martin and Bowmore Whisky have linked brands to create a limited edition bottling to be known as Black Bowmore DB5 1964 whisky. Each Black Bowmore DB5 bottle incorporates an Aston Martin DB5 piston, while the bottle contains 700 ml of Black Bowmore 1964 single malt, one of the rarest and most sought-after single malt whiskies ever created.
Just 25 bottles of Black Bowmore DB5 1964 will be available later this year at £50,000 (US$65,590) per bottle.
As an investment, even at the $65,590 buy price, these bottles will prove to be much better than gold. In addition to already being one of the world’s most revered whiskies, Black Bowmore DB5 1964 will become famous because of the novelty, rarity and media coverage it is currently generating.
What's more, it is likely that even though this news is only a few days old, all of those bottles are already spoken for and not one of them will ever be opened, unless it is for corporate brand defining purposes, the main motivation behind the exercise in the first place.
As we pointed out a few weeks back in an article entitled Rare whisky is shaping as the perfect hedge in an economic downturn, bottles at the very pinnacle of old and rare whisky stopped being a drink and turned into an alternative asset class on or shortly after May 24, 2005.
That was the date that a customer at the Pennyhill Park Hotel in England paid £32,000 ($58,502) for a bottle of Dalmore 62 Year Old, setting a world record price for a bottle of whisky … and then drank the bottle in one sitting, with the help of a few friends.
Only 12 bottles of Dalmore 62 Year Old were ever produced, and one already held the world record (£25,878, which calculates to US$40,602, paid at McTear’s Auctions in Glasgow in December 2002) when that bottle was purchased and consumed at the Pennyhill Park Hotel.
It was the last time that a bottle of world record whisky was consumed, and it will NEVER happen again, largely because the world record for a bottle of whisky skyrocketed shortly thereafter and has now reached £1,452,000 ($1,860,307).
As we pointed out in that article, a standard 30 ml shot from the world record bottle would now cost £62,229 ($79,727), or nearly double the price that our hedonistic Pennyhill hero paid for the entire bottle.
The partnership between Aston Martin and Bowmore is a fascinating one and there are great similarities between the brand attributes. Apparently there will be many "more collaborative projects and products over the coming months and years, ranging from exceptional experiences to design-led product initiatives with the goal of offering fans of the brands, across a broad spectrum, the opportunities to connect with the partnership."
The coincidence of the 1964 date might not be obvious to the casual observer who is not both a whisky connoisseur and old enough to remember the fuss that secret agent James Bond caused in the same year when the feature film Goldfinger was released.
The silver gadget-festooned Aston Martin DB5, driven by Sean Connery as James Bond in the film, caused a global sensation and immediately became the poster car for a generation of aspiring technophiles.
Coming hot on the heels of the Aston Martin DB4, DB4 GT and DB4 GT Zagato, which passed the torch of being the world's fastest road car at the time, the Aston Martin DB5 was included in filming before it was released to the media, and the film indelibly burned the Aston Martin DB5 into the global consciousness as a metaphor for sporting excellence. Just 1,059 DB5s were built in the day, and a further 25 continuation units were constructed this year. These days, they sell for more than $1.0 million apiece at auction.
1964 Bowmore: Best-of-breed
The 1964 Bowmore is held in similar high esteem in whisky circles as the DB5 is in automotive history. Bowmore is Islay’s oldest distillery and just as entrepreneur David Brown (who contributed the DB in DB5) picked up a respected name and made it a world-beater, Stanley P. Morrison purchased Bowmore distillery in 1963 and his early innovations proved decisive in taking the distillery's name to global prominence.
Bowmore’s “No. 1 Vaults” are among the oldest maturing warehouses in Scotland and they have certain qualities that aid in creating a special whisky. For starters, they are below sea-level, and the air is cold, damp and salt-laden, which is apparently ideal for whisky maturation.
Beyond investing in buying the distillery, Morrison also invested in the distillation technology, increasing the number of stills and installing gas-fired technology instead of the age-old coal-burning stills. It was one of the first major applications of gas-fired whisky distillation. The third and final change in the process was the use of maturation casks from the bodegas of Spain where they had previously held Oloroso Sherry.
It can't be a coincidence that The Macallan 1926 60-Years-Old that has subsequently demolished every world price record at auction was also matured in Oloroso Sherry casks from the same area of Spain.
Most Scotches are matured in casks made of American oak that have previously held bourbon, which imparts a golden color and inflections of vanilla, sweetness, caramel and creaminess.
The results of maturation in Oloroso casks (also made of American oak) means that Black Bowmore 1964 takes on a deeper reddish color with inflections of nuts and dark ripe fruits, and a richer more complex array of flavors.
Distilled on 5 November 1964, Black Bowmore 1964 introduced a new era of excellence for the Bowmore name, renewing the legend.
Apart from the world record above, it's worth considering the recent auction of "The Perfect Collection" that was assembled by the late Richard Gooding, which consisted of over 3,900 bottles of single malt Scotch whisky.
Gooding had virtually an unlimited amount of money to purchase his whiskies and had tasted everything worth tasting. The most plentiful whisky in his collection and his unabashed favorite whisky of all time: the Black Bowmore 64.