17th June 2019 – Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been awarded a total of seven medals at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, including a coveted Double Gold for its 18-year-old expression.
The medal haul, from one of the most significant global competitions, highlights Bowmore’s position as one of the top distilleries in the world, producing iconic single malts that continue to set the bar for the entire spirits industry.
The top awarded expression was Bowmore 18-year-old, which scooped the much-coveted Double Gold for its masterful combination of ripe fruit, dark chocolate and Islay smoke. Cosseted away in the finest, hand-selected oak casks and allowed to mature at its own sedate pace, this bottle is one of the most remarkable, perfectly balanced single malt scotch whiskies of its kind.
Gold medals were also awarded to Bowmore’s 12-year-old and 25-year-old expressions, demonstrating the breadth of quality in the distillery’s production from one of its youngest core offerings to one of its oldest.
The 12-year-old, which reflects the essence of Bowmore, is both complex and perfectly balanced with subtle lemon and sweet heather honey complementing Bowmore’s trademark peat smoke.
The 25-year-old offers a joyful union of toffee and hazelnut, bound together by sweet peat smoke. It is a whisky that has been patiently matured for a quarter of a century in North American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks and is exceptional even by Bowmore’s standards.
Alongside these awards for the core range, Bowmore’s 15-year-old and 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusives also picked up gold medals.
Bowmore 15-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is a golden and elegant whisky, exquisitely married in first fill Bourbon casks and hogsheads for a refreshing, inspired and uplifting character.
Bowmore 18-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive is deep and complex. Perfectly balanced, with a dignified maturity through time well spent in the depths of the finest Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.
David Turner, Bowmore® Distillery Manager, comments: “San Francisco World Spirits Competition is one of the top awards for the industry so it’s an honour to have picked up so many medals across our range. To have been awarded Double Gold for our 18-year-old core expression is a moment I will forever be immensely proud of – it’s superb whisky and having it recognised like this really makes for a rewarding moment for everyone at the distillery.”
Alongside the Double Gold award and four Gold medals, Bowmore 15-year-old and Bowmore 10-year-old Travel Retail Exclusive also picked up Silver medals to round off an impressive showing from one of Scotland’s most esteemed distilleries.
Since its introduction in 2000, the SFWSC has become one of the most respected and influential spirits competitions in the world. And that means that the award is one of the most reliable and universal indications of spirits excellence.
The 2019 Competition was the biggest in its history, featuring more than 3,000 entries. Judges of the 2019 Competition were established spirits-industry experts, including: Anthony Dias Blue (Executive Director), author, editor, publisher, and one of the most influential food, wine, and spirits writers and lifestyle personalities in the U.S.A; Tony Abou-Ganim (Director of Judging), the Master-Mixologist, one of the leading pioneers of America’s craft cocktail movement; David Wondrich, James Beard Award–winning author and longtime
Spirits Writer for Esquire Magazine; Julie Reiner, the renowned bartender who has brought New York’s Flatiron Lounge and Clover Club rave reviews and top rankings among the best bars in the world; and Jeffrey Morgenthaler, of Clyde Common at Portland’s Ace Hotel, named America’s Bartender of the Year and the country’s Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at the 2016 Spirited Award.
The robust judging process includes four days of highly controlled blind tastings, where the experienced judging panels taste every product to decide if it is medal-worthy. Judges do not receive any information on producer or price point, ensuring each spirit is judged fairly, equally, and without bias.
While tasting, judges evaluate each product on an individual basis—not compared to other entries in the flight. During this stage, judges determine which entries are worthy of a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal. Entries that receive a Gold medal from all judges on a panel earn a Double Gold award.
More information about the competition and the winners can be found here: http://sfspiritscomp.com/
3rd June 2019: Bowmore has been awarded gold medals for its 15-Year-Old and 18-Year-Old in the Whisky category at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) 2019. Such an accolade from the ISC is regarded to be the most respected and sought after in the drinks industry, due to the stringent nature of the judging process.
The Bowmore 15-Year-Old and 18-Year-Old passed a scrupulous blind tasting by a world-renowned expert panel of specialist judges to beat strong competition to win the prestigious accolade of gold. The quality of Bowmore’s craftsmanship and liquid is reflected in this superb result.
Matured first in bourbon barrels then Oloroso casks, there’s no finer example of a sherry cask finish than the Bowmore 15-Year-Old. It’s the final three years spent in Oloroso sherry casks that gives Bowmore 15-Year-Old the rich, deep colour and robust warming finish.
Cosseted away in the finest, hand-selected oak casks and allowed to mature at its own sedate pace, the Bowmore 18-Year-Old is one of the most remarkable, perfectly balanced single malt scotch whiskies of its kind. One of the rarest whiskies, bottles of Bowmore 18-Year-Old may be limited, but there’s no end to its enjoyment.
Awards Organiser Justin Smith said: “This ISC grows every year, with producers entering a diverse mix of spirits from across the globe who are looking to benchmark their spirit at the very highest level”.
Chiara Giovanacci, International Marketing Manager Malts for Beam Suntory, commented: “Both the Bowmore 15-year-old and Bowmore 18-year-old are exceptional whiskies meticulously matured and sitting proudly at the heart of our portfolio. To be recognised by such a prestigious and respected awards organisation demonstrates their qualities as two of the finest aged single malts in the world.”
Now in its 24th year, the ISC is the premier event in promoting outstanding quality spirits from across the globe. The competition is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, which serves to encourage the high calibre of spirits and designs entered into the competition each year. Receiving more than 1,700 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide, the ISC is a truly global competition. It is supported by many of the world’s leading spirits producers as the international standard for quality and excellence.
For the Tasting Awards, a highly controlled operation is held over fifteen days of intense blind tastings by panels of more than 50 respected and experienced industry professionals. Samples are delivered to the judging area in flights of numbered tasting glasses to ensure the accuracy of the blind tasting. Each judge assesses products according to their age, region and variety which is then determined by the entrant and verified by the chairman.
Such a precise judging process has provided the basis of the strong reputation the ISC has established for rewarding quality and celebrating excellence.
Full results have been released and published on the International Spirits Challenge (ISC) website, www.
On 10th July, the world’s leading drinks producers and design specialists will gathered at The Plaisterers Hall, London for the annual ISC Awards Dinner. Paying tribute to some of the finest spirits, and packaging designs in the world, results for categories are announced with the evening highlights, which include the acclaimed Trophies, Producer of the year, Distiller of the Year, Supreme Champion Spirit and Special Recognition awards.
For more information please contact:
This unique liquid from the home of the legendary No.1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in the world, has spent 20 years maturing in a single sherry cask, developing deep layers of flavour. Bowmore ® 1997 offers a rich nose with notes of malty biscuit, dried flowers and a hint of white pepper alongside buttery toffee, freshly roasted coffee and vanilla sponge cake.
On the palate, flavours develop into sweet peat with burnt wood and light barbecue ash notes alongside lemon zest. Gentle vanilla and dried wood complement the peated malt character, with a sweet and smoky finish and lingering herbal and floral notes. Just 198 numbered bottles of Bowmore 1997 will be available to global travellers exclusively from Heathrow T2, T3, T4 & T5 in World Duty Free’s “World of Whiskies” stores, at an RRP of £295.
The expression will be launched on 7 December, when Bowmore® Distillery Manager, David Turner, will be in the World of Whiskies stores in Heathrow T2 and T5 to sign bottles of this limited release. Along with overseeing the day-to-day running of the distillery, David acts as guardian of the precious whiskies that lay maturing in the legendary No.1 Vaults. Using a portfolio of skills developed over his 25-year career at Bowmore®, David carefully hand-selects casks for maturation, keeping a watchful eye on the ageing spirits to determine exactly the right time to bottle the liquid gold inside.
Speaking about the expression, Ed Stening, Global Marketing Director of Beam Suntory Global Travel Retail, says: “Bowmore is a Single Malt with an incredibly rich history rooted in our legendary No.1 Vaults, which has shaped the distinctive character of whiskies made here for over 200 years.
As a brand, Bowmore is growing fast in Travel Retail and is very popular with travellers looking to take home a slice of this history and character. We are very excited to be working with Dufry, a long-term supporter of Bowmore, to offer this unique and brilliant single cask expression to their discerning,passionate customers.”
Matthew Scott-Fairweather, Liquor Product and Promotions Manager UK and Central Europe of Dufry adds: “We’re thrilled to be working with Beam Suntory to offer this exceptional whisky from Bowmore exclusively to our customers. We are confident that this will become an instant collector’s edition.”
For more information, please contact LDR CREATIVE
In our latest auction we saw what could be described as a curious mixture of solid consistency and the usual July quiet spell. Once again we had a couple of bonded casks of whisky at the top of the sale, this time a pair of delicious 1996 Ben Nevis butts. At £13,000 a piece this seems a more sensible, traditional market value result than some previous casks have fetched. Although still well above what you’d have paid from a broker until recently, this perhaps represents the big difference in cultural perception between Ben Nevis and the likes of Macallan or a closed distillery such as Littlemill.
Moving to the bottles and Macallan predictably had another good turn out with £4200 for the 1957 Anniversary Malt and £3900 for the 40 year old Gordon & MacPhail bottling for Italy from the 1970s. While impressive it seems as though it won’t be long until these early Anniversary Malts will be spiralling even higher towards a five figure sum. Let’s see what’s happening a year from now, in today’s market it’s getting harder and harder to be surprised by anything. We used to baulk at the likes of the Macallan Diamond Jubilee fetching north of £1200, and yet, here we are with last night’s example fetching £3600. Interesting times…
Other solidly performing Macallans were a pair of Private Eyes for £3300 apiece and a 1970 Anniversary Malt for £3000. It seems, despite constant supply, the market still has appetite for these kinds of bottlings.
It was good to see the Bowmore 1956 official distillery bottling return. Unsurprisingly it ended up at £4100, even at this price it seems good for such an incredible whisky. Interestingly the Brora 1972 Rare Malts 58.7% fetched £2800, down a little on previous results. Could this be the lower filling level, over-supply, or just summer doldrums? Time will tell, but I suspect whoever bought it nabbed themselves a wee bargain.
Other stunning whiskies in the upper ends of the sale included the Bowmore Bicentenary at £1750. This is another bottling that, despite ubiquity at auction, is going nowhere but up in price. When everyone wants to a bottling, for both collecting and drinking then value is pretty much bullet proof these days. Similarly, it was good to see the Highland Park Rebus 20 year old fetching £1650. This is a lesser known bottling, but those who have been lucky enough to taste it will understand the desirability.
Undeniably our favourite bottle this sale was the Ainslie Baillie & Cofrom the early 20th century. It’s so rare to find old genuine bottles like this in such stunning condition. This would have contained a significant proportion of Clynelish and I can only imagine what it must taste like. £1500 is a solid price.
Another interesting result was for the Lagavulin 12 year old White Horse 1970s bottling. This is a bottle that I’ve often mentioned in these reports, however, the fact it jumped right up to £1200 last night shows that it is likely entering a new trading level. It’s understandable when the quality of the whisky in these bottles has been lauded for years now and desirability is only going up and up.
Similarly the two old vintage dumpy Highland Park bottlings at £1150 a piece is also understandable, these bottlings are becoming more and more popular these days as knowledge about just how beautiful the whisky contained within is proliferates. Again, it will be very interesting to see where these bottlings are sitting at a year from now.
Other solid results were the Macallan Travel series for £1050, the Springbank 25 year old dumpy official bottling for £1050 and rather beautiful old official 1960s Rosebank for £975. Interestingly, an identical bottle sold for £575 as well. The only difference? Some splitting to the seal. It’s interesting to see how these kinds of wee details can make a different to collectors.
Midleton whiskies have long been collectable, however, in recent months we’ve noticed how prices across the board for their official releases have started to really skyrocket. For years you could pick up the 1990 Midleton release for around £160-220. Last night one fetched £825 and a 1997 release hit £650. With earlier releases in the series now consistently at four figures, how long before the 1990s releases all go the same way?
Another bottling which, conversely, seems like it’s taking its time to get above four figures is the Rare Malts Port Ellen releases. These bottlings have long sat around the £500-700 mark. Last night one fetched £825 which is a solid result. I suspect that one day these will jump above the £1000 mark and then it’ll be impossible to get one for less. Now might be a good time to snap one up if you’ve ever eyed one…
In terms of bargains this month there were perhaps one or two more than usual, although by old standards they are still thin on the ground and today’s definition of ‘bargain’ on the secondary market perhaps needs updating from what it meant in 2012-14. A 1968 Dalmore bottled in 1983 by Avery’s of Bristol seems like decent value at £575 for such a rare bottling. The Highland Park Ice at £105 also looks good compared to other recent sales.
Beyond that though, it’s rather slim pickings. As usual almost everything at the lower ends of the sale is really starting to hit or outstrip what might be considered its regular market value. Although, given the rapid and volatile nature of today’s secondary market, is there still really such a thing as ‘market value’? Probably not for an increasing number of whiskies I’d say…
On Wednesday 07th March, Bonhams plays host to The Whisky Sale in Edinburgh. With a number of exceptional whiskies going under the hammer including The Macallan, Bowmore and Talisker this really is a rare opportunity to acquire some truly iconic and collectible whiskies.
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