Whisky lovers expected to bid up to £150k to savour rare island malt

Auctioneers at Bonhams predict that the unique bottle “has the potential” to eclipse the current record if “two people want it badly enough”.

The Bowmore bottle, of which there are only 12 in the world, contains the oldest whisky the firm has ever produced, and also lays claim to being the oldest Islay single malt.

Andrew Rankin, Morrison Bowmore’s chief blender, said: “Bowmore 1957 has withstood the test of time astoundingly well and is nothing short of brilliance in a glass.”

The bottle will be the main lot at the whisky sale on Wednesday, with all proceeds being split between Scottish charities Alzheimer Scotland, The Beatson, CHAS, Erskine and Marie Curie.

Whisky expert Martin Green, who works for Bonhams Edinburgh, said: “It’s the oldest bottle ever to come out of the isle of Islay, and Bowmore have been monitoring the cask every six months and deciding when is the right time to bottle.

“There’s likely to be interest from many different countries. Everyone has been hearing about this sale and there may be many foreign buyers, but they can’t always attend so we will have people bidding online.”

Mr Green said there may be up to 250 litres of the spirit at the start of the distilling process but over time that volume decreases due to evaporation when “the angels take their share”.

“From the original amount, all that’s left is enough to fill 12 bottles,” he said.


1: A 64-year-old Macallan in Lalique sold at Sotheby’s in New York for £291,125 in November 2010. It holds the Guinness World Record as the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at auction.

2: An exceptionally rare bottle of The Glenlivet, distilled in 1883 and bottled in 1931, sold for £18,750 at Bonhams in October 2011. The bottle was originally owned by Captain William Smith Grant, the great grandson of the founder of The Glenlivet Distillery.

3: In the same Bonhams sale, a bottle of Macallan, distilled in 1928 and bottled in 1983, sold for £16,875 – almost £4000 more than the upper estimate.

4: A 70-year-old Generations Glenlivet was auctioned at Bonhams for £15,000 in March 2011. All proceeds from the lot were donated to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

5: In June 2009, a rare antique whisky miniature fetched £1500 at auction – the equivalent of £750 per nip. The 90-year-old single malt, from the iconic Springbank Distillery in Argyll, attracted interest from around the world at Bonhams’ whisky auction in Edinburgh


Article courtesy of The Scotsman