Beam Suntory to contribute rare Bowmore and Glen Garioch whiskies to inaugural Distillers ‘One of One’ auction
The donation of a one-off Bowmore Onyx 51 Year Old and a unique pair of Glen Garioch casks will support Beam Suntory’s Proof Positive philanthropic commitments
17 November 2021 – Beam Suntory, a world leader in premium spirits, is proud to contribute two exceptional lots to the upcoming Distillers ‘One of One’ auction, which will be held on December 3rd in Edinburgh. The auction, led by The Distiller’s Charity, the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, in partnership with Sotheby’s, will benefit disadvantaged young adults in Scotland. Led by two of its most historic, renowned Scotch whisky houses, Bowmore and Glen Garioch, Beam Suntory’s contributions to the auction further reinforce its Growing for Good vision and Proof Positive commitments.
Following the launch of the Bowmore Legacy project earlier this year, which supports the employability, training and housing needs of Bowmore’s young people, Bowmore is expanding on this commitment with its donation of an exceptionally rare, one-of-a-kind Bowmore Onyx 51 Year Old single malt. Matured in an American Oak refill barrel, which was filled on 17th February 1970, this rare creation is the first 51 Year Old ever released by the distillery and the auction provides the only opportunity to own this handcrafted, one-off masterpiece, along with a 100ml tasting sample.
Bowmore Onyx is the encapsulation of time, with over half a century of craftsmanship, quality and character embedded in its creation and story. Presented in a striking, hand blown black glass vessel, containing 1.4 litres of ultra-rare whisky, the bottle’s one-of-a-kind glass structure celebrates Islay and is a masterpiece in glass design, being the first structure of this size and style to ever house Bowmore. Hand blown by the expert team at Glasstorm, who previously crafted the exclusive Bowmore 1957 which sold at Sotheby’s for £363,000, and the stunning Black Bowmore DB5 1964, this beautiful art piece takes direct inspiration from the striking rock formations of Islay.
In addition, Glen Garioch will be contributing two rare casks, which will be presented together in a bespoke cradle crafted by local cabinetmaker, Lethenty cabinetmakers, and accompanied by a copper Vallinch designed by Forsyths. This unique pairing will be a one-of-a kind offering and is a celebration of the 2021 restoration of the Glen Garioch distillery. Earlier this year, Glen Garioch announced a £6 million investment to return its historic distillery to traditional production processes, with the reintroduction of floor maltings and direct-fired distillation.
The first cask, a Glen Garioch 1990 cask, is a first fill American Oak, ex-Bourbon Hogshead cask, containing the equivalent of approximately 20 9-litre cases of the highest quality single malt. In July of 1990, when this barrel was filled, Glen Garioch still had floor maltings and direct-fired stills, the style was lightly peated and still used brewer’s yeast, all elements that the distillery is planning to return to by the end of this year.
The second Glen Garioch casks is a new fill, and will be one of the first casks produced by the distillery following the restoration of its traditional floor maltings and direct-fired stills. Like its 1990 counterpart, this new barrel is also a first fill American Oak, ex-Bourbon Hogsheads cask. Together, the two casks tell the story of how the past is inspiring Glen Garioch as it opens the next chapter in its future.
Commenting on both contributions, Francois Bazini, Managing Director – Scotch, Gin & Irish at Beam Suntory said, “We are so proud that both Bowmore and Glen Garioch are making these one-of-a-kind contributions to this exceptional charitable auction. Inspired by the philanthropic commitments laid out in Beam Suntory’s Proof Positive sustainability strategy, Bowmore and Glen Garioch are both deeply committed to giving back to the communities that they have called home for more than 220 years. We are delighted to be able to showcase the craftsmanship of our legendary Scotch whiskies and share these singular offerings in support of such an important cause.”
David Turner, Bowmore Distillery Manager, commented, “For the first time, we are releasing a 51 Year Old Bowmore, making this one-off extremely rare and precious. To make this happen, we’ve taken a single portion of stock taken from a cask that has been carefully watched over by the distillery team and nurtured in the legendary No.1 Vaults. There is no doubt this one of a kind will be hugely desired by those who love our incredible single malt.”
Kwanele Mdluli, Glen Garioch Distillery Manager, commented, “This is an incredibly important moment in the history of the Glen Garioch distillery – a true turning point as we return to our traditional production processes for the first time in 25 years. We are so pleased to be able to capture this moment with this completely bespoke pairing of two casks – one representing our past, the other representing our future, coming full circle – all in support of Scotland’s next generation.”
Proceeds from The Distillers One of One auction will benefit The Youth Action Fund, which has been created by The Distillers’ Charity focusing on supporting disadvantaged young people in Scotland, transforming their life chances and empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities. Working with charity partners who offer education and vocational training programmes, including distillation training, the fund will provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, discover their values and be work-ready.
Bowmore Onyx 51 Year Old Tasting Notes:
This single malt is very much defined and shaped by over 50 years in oak, however the influence of Islay remains a constant. Burnished gold in colour, the exquisite fresh and fruity aromas thrill the nose with the sweetness of stewed white flesh peaches balanced with the punchy notes of menthol and eucalyptus. Then signature peat smoke sneaks in alongside woody notes of polished cedarwood and burnt caramel. The tantalising taste of sweet orchard fruit and spices excite the palate as tobacco, earthy walnuts and pecan nuts lead to a mouth warming, long lasting finish.
For over 240 years, the Bowmore Distillery has been capturing the essence of Islay from the shores of its remote island home. Shaped by centuries of skill and tradition, Bowmore’s single malt harnesses the power of this time in every single drop, defined by the past and savoured in the present.
Time is defining at Bowmore® and we tirelessly harness the power of time to shape our whiskies. Our distillery’s adherence to traditional production methods helps to shape the character of our fruity and smoky single malts. Today, we are amongst one of a few distilleries which still produces its own floor malted barley, hand-turned by a traditional wooden malt shovel and hand drawn machinery. Water for the whiskies is specially drawn from the Laggan River, with its rich peaty overtones – the same Islay peat that fires the malt-drying kiln.
Bowmore® Distillery’s proximity to the sea is also vital in determining the final character of its spirit and gives a hint of sea air to the character. The legendary Bowmore® No. 1 Vaults is where most of the whiskies spend their long lives resting quietly in the cool, dark, damp cellars below sea level, oblivious to the waves thrashing the vault’s sea-facing wall.
Matured in oak casks, previously used for bourbon, sherry, or claret, over time developing rich and mellow flavours until the expertise of our whisky makers deems them ready for bottling. It is this combination of peat, barley, sea breeze, water, wood, people, and tradition that makes Bowmore the exceptional single malt it is today.
Time is marked on each and every bottle of Bowmore, proudly and boldly as a marker of where and when each one’s journey began. This is our story of time. This is Bowmore; the Art of Time since 1779.
About the Bowmore Legacy Fund
The ground-breaking Bowmore Legacy project supports 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. The key goal of the Bowmore Legacy is to futureproof the island’s distilling industry for tomorrow by investing in young people’s needs today.
About The Distillers’ One of One
Launched in 2021, the Distillers’ One of One is a biennial series of auctions of Scottish whisky in aid of disadvantaged young people in Scotland. Led by The Distiller’s Charity, the philanthropic arm of The Worshipful Company of Distillers, and in partnership with Sotheby’s, the Scotch Whisky industry has gathered together to support philanthropy. Participating distilleries are donating ultra-rare whisky and experiences for sale at auction aiming to raise in excess of £1 million during the initial 3 December 2021 auction.
In order to help transform the life chances of young people in Scotland post pandemic, The Distillers’ Charity has created the Youth Action Fund. The proceeds from the Distillers’ One of One auction will be disbursed from the fund to a number of charities that focus on empowering Scotland’s young adults to create positive change in their lives and communities. Sotheby’s will also donate a portion of their buyer’s premium from the auction to The Distillers’ Charity.
About Beam Suntory
As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires human connections. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Courvoisier cognac, as well as world renowned premium brands including Basil Hayden, Knob Creek and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; EFFEN, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and On The Rocks Premium Cocktails.
Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and vision of Growing for Good. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.