The Aston Martin x Bowmore collaboration produces an exquisite decanter, specially designed by Aston Martin, featuring a unique 52-year-old vintage whisky from the Bowmore Distillery
The ARC-52 decanter features a carbon fibre top inspired by the traditional Japanese metalworking technique of Mokume Gane
One-off collector’s item to be offered at auction by Sotheby’s in London on 26 May with proceeds to be donated to The Bowmore Legacy fund
9 May 2023, Gaydon, UK: Bowmore ARC-52: The ‘Mokume Edition’, a unique and highly exclusive whisky collaboration between two iconic British brands is here. This prized, one-of-its-kind collector’s item will be presented for auction at Sotheby’s in London on 26 May with proceeds to be donated to The Bowmore Legacy fund.
The cutting-edge engineering and exquisite design of Aston Martin and the unfaltering attention to detail and craftsmanship of Bowmore have once again come together to produce a futuristic vessel for this complex, exceptionally rare 52-year-old single malt. The concept for this one-off edition takes its name from the Japanese metalworking technique ‘Mokume-Gane’ which produces a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns.
The finest carbon filaments and construction have been used to produce the sculptural top of the ARC-52 decanter, just as in the production of the lightest and strongest carbon fibre components for Aston Martin’s most intense performance cars, including the ultimate hypercar, Aston Martin Valkyrie and the company’s Formula 1® challenger, the AMR23. One of the lightest materials available, yet stronger than steel, carbon fibre is used throughout Aston Martin’s high-performance models.
The carbon fibre element of the decanter has been created using a unique process which mirrors the mokume texture and mimics a natural aesthetic, much like wood grain or layered natural rock. The finish achieved can be said to imitate both the black rocks in the bay of Loch Indaal, home to the Bowmore Distillery, and also the inside of the charred cask where this special 52-year-old whisky was aged.
The design of this unique decanter charts a journey from past to present – the arc of time – with a futuristic take on a whisky vessel. The design seamlessly merges natural and man-made contours, its form appearing to be almost weightless as it balances on two points. The starting point was grounded in the principles of Aston Martin design, to create proportions that look stable, yet refined and light – an equilibrium that is one of the driving imperatives in car design. The vessel’s design incorporates the latest 3D printing and hand-crafted clay modelling in realising its form. Calling on the exacting principles of achieving balance and optimal form that is intrinsic to Aston Martin’s design DNA, the result is a timelessly beautiful piece of art that is a true coming together of heritage and innovation.
Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Aston Martin, said: “As makers of bespoke and beautiful objects, proportion, shape and form, along with careful selection of colours and materials, are incredibly important to us at Aston Martin. And sometimes, nature can be the best of all designers. So, for inspiration of the decanter for this ingenious and special one-off ARC-52 Mokume Edition, we turned to the black rocks in the bay of Loch Indaal, home to the Bowmore Distillery. We imagined walking those picturesque shores, at magic light, and discovering this wonderous treasure, shaped over eons of time by the elements, suddenly appearing at your feet. We think the vessel containing this magnificent whisky reflects the rarity and distinctiveness of the precious spirit found inside.”
A truly multi-dimensional single malt, this masterpiece has been crafted from spectacular marriage of some of the oldest Bowmore vintages from the 1960s, an iconic era of Bowmore distilling.
Ron Welsh, Master Blender at Bowmore, said: “The very concept of ARC is itself spectacular in both form and contents, but this one-off creation adds even greater depth, intrigue and inspiration to the story of ARC. By creating this unique Mokume edition, we can also fulfil our ambition to ‘give back’ to our homeplace through The Bowmore Legacy, by offering collectors and Bowmore lovers something truly special and desirable. As one of my last project’s for Bowmore, this one is exceptionally close to my heart and is the perfect climax to an incredibly rewarding and exciting career.”
The Bowmore ARC-52 Mokume Edition is a one-off collector’s item, available exclusively from Sotheby’s, with an estimate of £140,000-220,000 ($175,000-275,000). The winning bidder will have the opportunity to enjoy an experience at Bowmore Distillery and also get behind the wheel of the limited-edition Aston Martin DBX Bowmore Edition whilst on Islay. Created by Aston Martin’s personalisation service, Q by Aston Martin , only 18 examples of Aston Martin’s ultra-luxury SUV were produced in this unique specification, which included Bowmore-branded copper inlays using copper from the original whisky still to accent the side strakes of the DBX.
Proceeds from the auction will be donated to The Bowmore Legacy, a long-term, dedicated project to support the employability, training and housing needs of Bowmore’s young people, enabling a range of vital outcomes from affordable and supported housing to key employment skills for young people with barriers to employment.
Bowmore ARC-52 Mokume Edition will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in London on 26 May 2023.
In February 2021, Sotheby’s sold a bottle of Black Bowmore Aston Martin DB5 for $118,750. Launched by Bowmore in 2020, of the 27 bottles produced, 25 were released, with the two remaining bottles destined for Bowmore Distillery’s archive. Of all Aston Martin’s models, the DB5 reigns supreme as its most iconic, since its rise to stardom in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger.
Sotheby’s has set records for both Bowmore and Aston Martin in recent years. In December 2021, a bottle of Bowmore Onyx 51-Year-Old 1970 – presented in a hand-blown, 1.4l black glass vessel taking its inspiration from the terroir of its island home – sold for £400,000 / $532,340. In 2017 a DB1/1 sold at RM Sotheby’s Californian auction for $22.5 million, making it the most valuable British car ever sold at auction.
Bowmore ARC-52 Mokume Edition tasting notes:
CASK TYPES: European oak Sherry seasoned and American oak Hogshead
AGE: 52 Years Old, 1968
ON THE EYE: Deep burnished gold.
BREATHE IN: Fresh and fruity notes with a nod to the rich sweetness of Creme Brulé, sees the emergence aromas of apricots, green apples, orange zest and guava. Herbal notes of fresh menthol, eucalyptus and liquorice root provide a contrasting yet balanced character
TASTE: Honey sweet, fruity, and citric characters from flavours of green apple, apricot and tangerine are seamlessly merged with the nutty notes of macadamia and walnuts. Oaky notes unite with light peat for a mouth warming delight.
SAVOUR: Long and mouth drying with a touch of marine minerality.