Reframing the legacy of time
Crackling flames lick at the Evening sky, their curling fronds Probing the slow darkness with fervour, Whispering memories of a Lost love affair and hidden treasures, As the dusk draws closer it mellows, Filling the air with a light fog Which brings illusions of a land long Forgotten, a sweet and distant thought That clings on to the heavy pulls Of the heart.
– Bowmore, by Megan Chown
Celebrating legacy and transcending time
“A masterpiece beautifully crafted and shaped by time.” That’s how brand owner Beam Suntory describes Bowmore Timeless 31 Year-Old, a global travel retail exclusive unveiled in February, the latest illustrious addition to the Bowmore Timeless Series.
With just 3,000 bottles available exclusively to travel retail, Bowmore Timeless 31 Year-Old promises to be in high demand, especially as conditions improve in the channel.
This is a remarkable project in every way, starting of course with the whisky. Nurtured in ex-Bourbon casks for 29 years in order to allow the single malt to reach the peak of its maturation, it was then transferred to Spanish Oak Matusalem Sherry-seasoned butts for two years to ‘finish’ and enhance the flavours.
Bowmore Timeless 31 Year-Old is defined by floral notes, displaying a honey and vanilla sweetness and a touch of peppermint.
“I focused on capturing a galaxy of beautiful chemical reactions to represent the whisky-making process. This is my interpretation of the Bowmore universe, from where it begins to the final character.”
– Thomas Vanz
The expression is housed in what Bowmore with no overstatement dubs an “exquisite” black box alongside an hourglass which when turned provides drinkers with three precious minutes to enjoy the nose of a beautifully balanced single malt that has taken years to perfect. Only after this time has passed should the first sip be taken. It’s a nice ritualistic touch, designed to underline the whisky’s luxury credentials and to encourage respect for its craftsmanship.
Beam-Suntory Global Travel Retail Head of Brand Marketing Manuel González says: “We are honoured to launch Bowmore Timeless 31-year-old exclusively in global travel retail. The single malt whisky encapsulates the spirit of Bowmore, bringing together years of hard work that have led to the creation of one of the most celebrated whiskies in the world.
“Bowmore Timeless 31 Year-Old is a unique and premium quality single malt and is sure to transport drinkers to the shores of Islay wherever they are in the world.”
A medley of fruit flavours
Bowmore Timeless 27 Year-Old is also being introduced to the Bowmore Timeless Series. The whisky has been matured in sherry and ex-bourbon casks for 15 years before being moved into first-fill Oloroso butts for a further 12.
“With Bowmore Timeless Series, the key is the careful selection of the right casks at the right time,” says Bowmore Master Blender Ron Welsh (see full interview on page 11).
“This enables us to determine when the spirit has reached its peak, or if it should be left longer to develop its character further. This careful balance is vital to ensuring we allow the character of our whiskies to be optimised and can therefore, promise exceptional flavour.”
At that point the single malt was bottled at cask strength and while bursting with the trademark Bowmore character, it offers a medley of fruity flavours, combined with rich sherry overtones and a nod to fresh leather, tobacco and beeswax.
To celebrate the launch of the Bowmore Timeless Series, Bowmore has collaborated with independent French film maker, director and artist Thomas Vanz (see page 7) to pay homage both to the artistic craft and the role of time in creating Bowmore’s whiskies.
Through the compelling medium of film and artwork, Vanz has illustrated the power of time as expressed in the evolution of this distinctive Islay whisky.
He has done that by conveying the unfolding moments of cosmic beauty in the creation of Bowmore Timeless Series; what Bowmore calls “an abstract yet captivating interpretation”.
Interpreting the Bowmore universe
Commenting on the collaboration, Vanz says: “The artistry involved in the whisky-making process is fascinating and provided me with rich and vivid inspiration to create my own unique interpretation.
“Through my work, I focused on capturing a galaxy of beautiful chemical reactions to represent the whisky-making process, which is made up of complex movement and colours. This is my interpretation of the Bowmore universe, from where it begins to the final character.
“To collaborate with a single malt with such a remarkable legacy and from an awe-inspiring place is a first for me and I relished the opportunity to explore Bowmore in my own way.”