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Bowmore Whisky From 1957 Fails to Get $160,000 Reserve

Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore 1957, a 54-year-old single malt Scotch whisky, is the oldest ever Bowmore and the oldest Islay single malt ever released to the public. Bottles No. 1 and No. 2 were offered at auction this October at Bonhams in Edinburgh and New York City with all proceeds planned to be donated to charity. The bottles failed to sell. Source: PRNewsFoto/Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Morrison Bowmore Distillers via Bloomberg.

A bottle of 54-year-old Bowmore whisky failed to sell at an auction in Edinburgh today because no buyer was willing to meet the minimum price.

The hammer came down at 85,000 pounds ($136,000), short of the 100,000-pound reserve price, auctioneer Bonhams said. The sale would have set a record for a Scotch at auction. The Bowmore 1957, the oldest whisky released by the distiller, was bottled in 2011 and only a dozen are in existence. A second is scheduled to go on sale in New York on Oct. 28.

“The skill and patience that has gone into the production of this product has not been appreciated by the market,” said Martin Green, the whisky specialist at Bonhams.

Bowmore was founded in 1779 on Islay off Scotland’s west coast. Whiskies from the island, also including Lagavulin and Laphroaig, are known for their peaty smokiness.

The whisky was presented in a hand-blown platinum encrusted decanter. According to the tasting notes, it has initial flavors of blueberries, cassis, figs, sea salt and eucalyptus followed by dark chocolate and grapefruit leaving the drinker with an aftertaste of bergamot and star anise.

The net proceeds of both sales were to go to five Scottish charities, Bowmore said last month.

A bottle of 55-year-old Glenfiddich malt whisky produced to honor the oldest living Scot sold at auction on Dec. 14 in Edinburgh for a record 46,850 pounds. The whisky, which was put into casks in 1955, had a guide price of between 30,000 and 35,000 pounds and all the proceeds were donated to Water Aid.

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