The exceptionally rare Bowmore Queens Cask 1980 has previously only appeared a handful of times, exclusively through charity auctions.
9th September 2019 – An exceptionally rare bottling of Bowmore Single Malt whisky has been donated by Beam Suntory to an online charity auction in support of cancer care in Scotland. The Scotch Whisky Industry Charity Auction for Beatson Cancer Charity will feature over 100 rare and prestigious whiskies from Scotland’s finest distilleries with an estimated auction hammer price value of over £110,000. The rare bottle of 1980 Bowmore Queen’s Cask donated by Beam Suntory, is expected to fetch a record sum.
In 1980 a cask of whisky was filled to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen’s visit to Bowmore Distillery on the Isle of Islay. In 2002, Her Majesty requested that the cask was bottled to mark the Golden Jubilee. A select number of bottles were delivered to the cellars at Royal Palaces, with a small amount retained in the Bowmore distillery archive. Beam Suntory, owners of Bowmore distillery, donated the bottling with permission of the royal household. To date only a hand full of bottles have been seen exclusively at charity auctions, making this one of the rarest and most collectable whiskies in the world.
Pryce Greenow, International President at Beam Suntory, stated: “Beam Suntory is honoured to support such an incredible cause and raise awareness of the work of the Beatson Cancer Charity in Scotland. The Queens cask 1980 Jubilee bottling is an exceptional single malt celebrating an iconic moment in Bowmore’s distilling history. Matched by some incredible donations from the wider scotch whisky industry, we’re anticipating a record sum to be raised for this world-leading cancer charity.”
The online auction will run from 13th-23rd September on Whisky Auctioneer.com, which is waiving its seller fee and donating its buyer commission to the charity.
For more information on the auction or to register to participate, please visit
To buy or sell on the Whisky Auctioneer website, an account must be first set up here:
Gordon & MacPhail, the single malt Scotch whisky creator, has unveiled a new addition to its ‘Private Collection’: Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery. At 70-years-old, it is the oldest expression from the Speyside distillery ever bottled.
The latest release closely follows the acclaimed 50-year-old Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery, the oldest single malt ever bottled from the Islay distillery.
The rare and exclusive Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery was matured in Cask 2154, a first fill Sherry butt filled on 11 June 1948 – six years before barley rationing restrictions were lifted following the Second World War. Only 210 decanters of this highly sought-after whisky are available to purchase.
The ‘Private Collection’ comprises a selection of rare single malts from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries personally selected by members of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail.
Members of four generations of the Urquhart family nurtured Cask 2154. John Urquhart selected the cask with his son, George, back in 1948. George oversaw storage of the cask in the fabled Warehouse No. 5 at Glen Grant Distillery. His eldest son, Ian, monitored the whisky and, in May 1968, arranged for the Sherry butt to be moved to Gordon & MacPhail’s Elgin warehouse. Ian’s nephew, Stuart, the company’s Operations Director, selected Cask 2154 for bottling on 19 October 2018.
Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family, reflected: “Our family has matured single malt whiskies for 123 years, each generation passing on its knowledge of how to combine spirit and oak to create exquisite whiskies. Four generations of my family have carefully nurtured Cask 2154 over its 70 years to produce this unique whisky.
“My great-grandfather, John, selected the first fill Sherry butt in 1948 to fill with new-make spirit from Glen Grant. My family has patiently watched over this cask, regularly monitoring and sampling the whisky, recognising the right moment to bottle it at its ultimate peak. This masterpiece epitomises the skill and craft involved in matching a cask to new-make spirit, as well as our dedication to creating unique and intriguing whiskies.
“Thanks to the notable influence of the Sherry butt on the spirit over the years, the elegant whisky displays flavours of dried fruit, orange zest, and cracked black pepper whilst maintaining a long, smooth charred oak finish. The remarkable 70-year-old malt also has delicate smoky notes, a reminder that, in 1948, the distillery would have been using traditional practices on their floor maltings and local peat as a fuel.”
Bottled at cask strength (ABV 48.6%), the amber coloured single malt is presented in an exquisitely engraved, hand-blown crystal decanter. The stunning whisky is framed in a striking wooden presentation case, with doors which smoothly slide open to reveal the precious contents.
In April 2018, Gordon & MacPhail streamlined its portfolio of single malt Scotch whiskies. Over recent months, the company has unveiled several remarkable ‘Private Collection’ releases: Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery and Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery.
Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery will be available for purchase worldwide from selected specialist retailers* (UK RRP £17,500**).
For more information, please visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
*Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery will be available to purchase in the US in spring 2019.
**Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.
Every now and again we like to share with you news about The Macallan Masters of Photography series and tell you a little about what exciting new expressions are coming out. We also from time to time like to even share a few pictures which as they say tell a thousand words. On very special occasions we like to go even further and share a video or two which tell probably over a million words… On this occasion we have decided to do just that and introduce you to the latest in the Macallan Masters of Photography Steven Klein series courtesy of this rather special and intriguing video from Macallan.
Visit: The Macallan
Bonhams Whisky Department specialises in the sourcing and global auction sales of Vintage Single Malt and Blended Whisky and is run by Martin Green who has been the whisky specialist at Bonhams since 2008 after a career in whisky auctions stretching back over 30 years.
He is credited with devising and holding the first ever dedicated whisky sale in 1989. Today, Bonhams holds four whisky sales a year in Edinburgh and four sales in Hong Kong (two of which are combined with Fine Wine). These attract buyers from around the world and regularly achieve sale rates of over 90%
Martin is acknowledged as one of the country’s foremost authorities on whisky and has written widely on the subject.
Notable single owner collections: The Willard S. Folsom Collection, sourced from San Francisco comprising of over 3500 bottles offered in Global sales at Bonhams during 2009 and 2010, the largest whisky collection to appear on the auction market.
The Bowmore Trilogy
The Bowmore Trilogy Black Bowmore-42 year old-1964, White Bowmore-43-year old-1964, Gold Bowmore-44 year old-1964 £17,500 Sourced from a private European collector
Johnnie Walker Old Highland Whisky-Early 20th Century £7,500, sourced from within the UK licensed trade
Johnnie Walker Old Highland Whisky-Early 20th Century Ardbeg-1965 £4,375, sourced from a private Scottish collector
Black Bowmore-1964 Lots 26 £11,875, 27 £12,500 , 28 £11,875, the three bottles sourced from a private UK collector
The highest auction results as of June 2017 for Black Bowmore at auction globally
The Dalmore Candella £16,250, sourced from a private Scottish collector
The Dalmore Candella
The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve-1955 £46,850, offered for sale by the distillery on behalf of a Global Charity
The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve-1955
Glenfiddich-64 year old-1937 £68,500, sourced from a private European collector
Glenfiddich-64 year old-1937 The current UK auction house record for the sale of a bottle of Single Malt Whisky and the highest price paid at auction for a bottle of Glenfiddich
The Macallan Millennium Decanter-40 year old-1949 £21,250, sourced from a private UK collector
The Macallan Millennium Decanter-40 year old-1949 Bonhams Specialist whisky auctions attract International interest and are held in March, June, October and December in Edinburgh and twice each year in Hong Kong from where the bottles are sourced
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