When the first Black Bowmore DB5 1964 was released in 1993, Bowmore ambassador and whisky veteran Matthew Fergusson-Stewart recalled that it retailed at £70, a price “some thought was insane”. Five years ago, that first edition went under the hammer for US$14,850 in 2017. Just last year, at Sotheby’s Rare Whisky & Moutai Live auction, the Black Bowmore “Archive Cabinet”, crafted by John Galvin and containing each of the five fabled Black Bowmore releases, sold for S$760,849.

“This collaboration with Aston Martin has allowed us to once again showcase this iconic single malt in the most incredible way.” – David Turner, Bowmore Distillery Manager

With only 25 bottles available for sale worldwide, one of those bottles with eau de vie aged for 31 years in sherry casks and inspired by the famous silver Aston Martin DB 5 driven by the late Sean Connery in the first James Bond film Goldfinger, was back in the market, available for auction in January with Singapore’s sole example starting at a reserve price of S$90,000. (The Singapore auction is now closed but you can still catch the online auction for Black Bowmore DB5 at Sotheby’s).

Both are immensely historic brands, the Bowmore Distillery founded in 1779 established itself not only as the oldest, but also as as the most valuable Islay whisky when the distillery’s 54 year old expression, distilled in 1957, sold for £363,000 in 2019. Aston Martin, founded in 1913, have produced cars renowned for both performance and style. The company received its Royal Warrant in 1982 and went on to set its own record when a DB1/1 sold for $22.5m, making it the most valuable British car ever sold at auction.

1964: That Milestone Year

For nearly 30 years, since the release of its First Edition in 1993, Black Bowmore has been synonymous with collectability and an icon in the rare whisky market. a celebration of shared values and passions, showcasing great innovation and invention, the Black Bowmore DB5 1964 is a beautifully inspiring masterpiece with its unique, handcrafted glass decanter fused with a genuine piston from an Aston Martin DB5 engine, houses an equally scarce single malt.

For Bowmore, 1964 is arguably one of the most significant points in the distillery’s 240-year history. The arrival of a new boiler saw the distillery enter the modern age of distilling as coal fires made way for steam in heating the stills. It was the first distillation from this new boiler that produced the spirit which was to become the iconic Black Bowmore. 

Even with its 242 year history, the partnership between Bowmore Distillery and Aston Martin still marks a watershed moment in cross-category collaboration. If you didn’t manage to get you hands on the Black Bowmore, the Designed by Aston Martin collection featuring Bowmore’s iconic 10, 15 and 18 Year Old single malts, paired with intricate designs of Aston Martin’s iconic cars – the LM10Atom and DB Mk III respectively. This collection is available at Bowmore and Lotte Travel Retail’s pop-up store in Changi Airport Terminal 3.

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