Beam Suntory-owned Islay single malt scotch whisky distillery Bowmore has extended its premium Bowmore Timeless series to include a global travel retail-exclusive 31 Year Old expression.
The new expression was launched in selected travel retail markets today (22 February). Retailer customers to date include Lotte Duty Free, Delhi Duty Free, Sunrise Duty Free, China Duty Free Group, Gebr. Heinemann, and Lagardère Travel Retail, together with distributors such as ME Group and Gulf Beverages.
Only 3,000 bottles of the 31 Year Old whisky have been produced. It was aged in ex-Bourbon casks for 29 years to allow the single malt to reach peak maturation. Afterwards, the liquid was transferred to Spanish oak Matusalem sherry-seasoned butts for an additional two years to further develop the floral, honey, vanilla and peppermint-infused flavours.
The 31 Year Old deep gold liquid offers floral notes of lilies of the valley, gardenia, freesia and jasmine on the nose. Floral and delicate flavours of sweet magnolia, lilac and sweet pea are combined with creamy cookie dough, sea salt and seaweed to create a distinctive taste. It finishes with a subtle and chalky mouthfeel with hints of acacia honey and mint candy.
The limited expression is packaged in a striking black and gold box, which comes with its own hourglass. Drinkers are encouraged to turn the hourglass, giving them three minutes to fully enjoy the nose of the balanced single malt whisky. Only after the three minutes have passed should drinkers partake in their first sip.
The travel retail-exclusive release joins older expressions in the Bowmore Timeless Series, which is a celebration of 240 years of whisky craftsmanship and tradition. The Bowmore Timeless Series is crafted to capture the essence of the island of Islay and combines rich smoky flavours with notes of exotic fruit and sea salt.
Beam-Suntory Global Travel Retail Head of Brand Marketing Manuel Gonzalez, said: “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 single malt and is sure to transport drinkers to the shores of Islay wherever they are in the world.”
A new Bowmore Timeless 27 Year Old has also been introduced to the series. This expression has been matured in sherry and ex-bourbon casks for 15 years before being moved to first-fill Oloroso butts for an additional 12 years. The single malt — which combines fruity flavours with rich sherry, leather, tobacco and beeswax notes — is then bottled at cask strength and individually numbered.
“With the Bowmore Timeless Series, the key is the careful selection of the right casks at the right time,” said Bowmore Master Blender Ron Welsh. “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.”
To celebrate the Bowmore Timeless Series, the Beam-Suntory owned whisky house has partnered with French filmmaker Thomas Vanz to create a film that pays homage to its craftsmanship and heritage.
The soon to be released film aims to ‘illustrate the power of time’ as expressed through the evolution of Bowmore’s whiskies amid unfolding cosmic elements.
Commenting on the collaboration, Vanz said: “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.”