Bowmore 1997

At 23 years old, this cask of Bowmore is in absolute prime. Most Bowmores can be found somewhere between 12-18 years old, and anything past 20 years old is very premium indeed. Long maturations in Bowmore’s vaults are very kind to their whiskies, no matter what cask type they are kept in. The maturation on Islay is quite gentle, so flavours and aromas are slowly coaxed from the whisky and the wood and unified. For Bowmore particularly, with its moderate peat levels, there’s a really luxuriant feel.

The ABV is still above 50, so this whisky could potentially be matured a good few years longer, but rest assured that it has already reached a point of being very special and quite rare.

Auction estimate: £55,000 – £60,000

Auction has ended. The winning bidder has been notified.

Cask Details

Age23 years
Distillation DateMarch 12, 1997
Cask TypeHogshead
Re-gauge ABV51.50%
Re-gauge Litre of Alcohol (RLA)78.95 litres
New Bulk Litres153.30 litres
Re-gauge DateAugust 24, 2020
Cask Number156021

Tasting Notes

N/A – No sample was made available.

About The Distillery

Bowmore is one of those names that everyone vaguely familiar with whisky will recognise. It has a long and rich history and can boast that it was the first distillery on Islay to obtain legal status back in 1779, the same year it was established. This predates the excise act by several decades, making Bowmore one of the absolute oldest operating distilleries anywhere in Scotland. Its no.1 vault is famous as a perfect maturation chamber, where whisky and oceanic aromas marry. The distillery is also one of the few that still has a working malting on site, responsible for producing a large portion of the barley which goes into making its whisky. This is a serious distillery.

This Islay distillery sits on the shore of Loch Indaal in the centre of the town of Bowmore, from which the distillery takes its name. Bowmore is also distinguished for producing the oldest ever Islay malt, a 1957 54 year old bottle presented in a crystal decanter with a price tag of around £100,000. The distillery is proud to have won more awards than any other Scottish distillery since its inception, firmly cementing its place as a legend of Scotch whisky.

Style wise, Bowmore is peated and lighter than many of the Islay whiskies. Typical flavours are light smoke, sherry sweetness and dried fruits. While these are the traditional flavours of Bowmore, it’s worth remembering that each and every single cask can be quite different from the others.

Buyer’s note: We cannot offer a photo of this cask due to the regulations on Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations that are imposed in the warehouse.


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Auction Details

  • Bidding will end on December 27th at 5:00pm GMT subject to continuation defined below.
  • If any bid is received within the last 5 minutes of bidding across any of the current auction listings, the entire auction will be extended for an additional 5 minutes. The auction will officially close when a period of 5 minutes has passed without a new bid.
  • All bids represent a legally binding contract to purchase the designated item.
  • The highest bidder at conclusion of the auction will immediately be charged a £500 deposit by credit card; the remaining balance will be due within 72 hours of auction close by bank wire transfer.
  • Failure to send proof of payment within 72 hours will result in a penalty of 1% of the hammer price for each day the payment is delinquent.
  • Upon verification that all funds due have been received, ownership of the cask will be transferred to the buyer and the buyer will be sent a title certificate. As per Scottish regulations, the cask must remain in a government bonded warehouse until bottling.
  • No samples will be provided during the auction.
  • If two bidders place a bid in the same amount, the first bid placed will be the winner.
  • Storage will be included for a period of 2 years from the conclusion of the auction. All other costs related to storage, removal from storage, insurance, transportation, bottling and duties/taxes will be the sole responsibility of the buyer.
  • A reserve price has been set for the auction. If the reserve price is not reached then the seller, in their sole discretion, can choose whether to accept the high bid or may offer a counter offer. All bids placed by buyers are binding, even when the reserve price has not been met, until the seller declines the highest bid.
  • A 10% buyers premium will be added to the highest prevailing bid. No buyers premium will be due if the reserve price is not met and the seller choses not to accept the high bid.