IN A STUNNING COLLABORATION BETWEEN TWO U.K. LEGENDS, THIS ULTRA EXCLUSIVE SINGLE MALT WHISKY IN AN ASTON MARTIN DESIGNED DECANTER IS PURE DRINKABLE ART
BY AMANDA McCOY
In 2020, a hotly anticipated collaboration between Scotland’s oldest distillery and one of the U.K.’s preeminent supercar marques yielded its first expression: a limited edition single malt 56 years in the making. Bowmore and Aston Martin’s Black Bowmore tantalized enthusiast circles, and the 25-bottle release kicked off a revered partnership that has since yielded several collections, including the Designed by Aston Martin series, an annual unveiling of Bowmore’s 10, 15, and 18-year whiskies housed in collector’s packaging that features an iconic vehicle from the automaker’s fabled history. These giftable bottles feature approachable price points of $59-$121, but in the spirit of the season of excess, we’ll dive into the latest special edition collaboration that’s as breathtaking as a DBX’s 12.4-second quarter mile. ARC-52, announced this summer, is a stunning example of craft and creativity. Like its name suggests, the ultra-exclusive single malt was distilled 52 years ago, three years before the floppy disk was invented and the same year the Beatles released The White Album.
It’s one of the Islay distiller’s oldest releases to date.
Clocking in at 42.3% ABV, the complex liquid is a 50-50 blend of two cask styles. Half the whisky matured in American oak ex-bourbon hogshead while the other half aged in European oak butt. The result is heady aromas of vanilla and custard cream balanced with peach, pear, kumquat, mandarin, and guava with just a kiss of fresh mint and eucalyptus. The palate then gives way to delicate notes of green grapes, clementine, lime zest, almonds, and hazelnuts, ultimately flowing into a finish of tobacco leaves and peat ash.
The glass decanter itself is equally intricate, its sleek, windswept form achieved through a clever technique that blends 3-D printing and hand-crafted clay modeling. The bottle rests on two points, curving upward to a triangular shape that’s designed to evoke the silhouette of AM’s supercars. The metal top can only be opened through a magnetic key and at $75,000 a pop, it ensures you’re in control of when sips are poured. Limited to only 100 bottles worldwide. bowmore.com