A community-based charity on the Isle of Islay will benefit after a unique Black Bowmore lot was sold at a Hong Kong auction house sale.
Sotheby’s inaugural live spirits sale in Asia was headlined by the Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet.
The collection surpassed its estimate to sell for £405,000 (HK$4,375,000/US$563,000), and proceeds from the sale of the Islay-made whisky lot will go to the Islay Development Initiative which aims to ensure the island remains a great place, to live, work and visit.
The three-day auction concluded with a total value of HK$119.5 million/ US$15.4m, surpassing the pre-sale high estimate of HK$95m/ US$12m.
Adam Bilbey, head of Sotheby’s Wine & Spirits, Asia and Europe, said: “No doubt the star of the show was the Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet, a truly exceptional one-of-a-kind work marrying whisky and design which stopped visitors in their tracks during our sales preview.
“From wine to spirits, we are seeing an increasing number of passionate younger collectors with sophisticated tastes entering the fray, willing to go up against more established collectors in their pursuit of the very best the market has to offer.”
Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist, said that the winning bidder now owns the “ultimate celebration of Black Bowmore” stored in a bespoke cabinet built by John Galvin Design of Clydebank.
He said: “The exceptional result for The Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet is a fitting testament not only to the concept and attention to detail of what is an extraordinary work of art, but also to the esteem with which collectors revere Black Bowmore.
“Steeped in history, these five whiskies transcend the concept of collectable whisky, their richly nuanced character and undeniable quality having attained legendary status over the years since their first release.
“I have been lucky enough to try several of these whiskies and their reputation as icons of the spirits world is truly deserved.
The beautiful Black Bowmore Cabinet journey ❤️
“The winning bidder can now lay claim to owning the ultimate celebration of Black Bowmore – and the Bowmore Distillery – in the knowledge that its sale has raised funds for the community on Islay.”
Jessica Spence, president of brands at Bowmore owner Beam Suntory, said: “We are incredibly proud that this auction has cemented Bowmore as such a highly prized single malt amongst collectors and whisky enthusiasts around the world, who appreciate its craftsmanship and heritage.”
The Black Bowmore Archive Cabinet comprises 29-year-old, 30-year-old, 31-year-old, 42-year-old and 50-year-old whiskies.
Black Bowmore was initially released in 1993 as a 29-year-old, followed by the release of a 30-year-old and 31-year-old over the next two years. It was also part of a trilogy in 2007, while a 50-year-old bottling was unveiled in 2016 as the final cask.
The Rare Whisky & Moutai Live sale reached a total of HK$12.8m/ US$1.6m, with all but one lot sold.
Highlights of the sale included a bottle of The Macallan The Red Collection 50-year-old, released as part of the six-bottle Red Collection in 2020. It sold for HK$687,500/ US$88,500 (estimate: US$64,500-US$90,000).