Bowmore Distillery Releases $75,000 Bottles of 52-Year-Old Scotch: ARC-52

by Jim Casey
photo courtesy Beam Suntory

Bowmore Distillery, one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, is living up to the “more” part of its moniker. Known for its popular single-malt selections—including 12-, 15-, 18-, and 25-year-old scotches, among others—Bowmore released a rare 52-year-old scotch: ARC-52. Only 100 decanters of ARC-52 are available globally, at a suggested retail price of $75,000 apiece.

Bowmore partnered with iconic car manufacturer Aston Martin to design the futuristic, hand-blown glass bottles.

“A Bowmore as exquisite and complex as this 52-Year-Old is testament to the skill of our distillery team and their commitment to optimizing the time spent in cask to create such an incredible spirit,” said Ron Welsh, Bowmore master blender. “The complexity of the ARC-52 single malt is unquestionable. And to achieve such perfect balance not only defines its physical form but unites beautifully in every drop of this stunning whisky. Working with Aston Martin remains hugely rewarding and fascinating for me. It continues to inspire and show us a different way of working, with absolute precision. And has allowed us to create what, in my opinion, is the best Bowmore over 50 years old that I’ve ever tasted.”

Tasting Notes

ARC-52 was aged for 52 years in a marriage of two cask styles in two exact parts. The parts included 50 percent American Oak Hogshead and 50 percent European Oak Butt.

According to Bowmore, “The whisky captures the classic Bowmore character with herbal and medicinal notes. Combined with exotic fruits, praline, and butterscotch to finish. Creamy and fruity aromas of vanilla and custard cream are carefully balanced with peach, pear, kumquat, mandarin, a hint of guava with herbal notes of fresh mint and eucalyptus. On the palate, the whisky continues to evolve as flavors of green grapes and peach melba, clementine, lime zest merge. With nutty notes of almond and hazelnuts, whilst tobacco leaves give way to a subtle peat ash and buttery character.”

  • On the Eye: Deep burnished gold.
  • Breathe In: Creamy and fruity with notes of vanilla and custard cream. But also peach, pear, kumquat, mandarin, a hint of guava with herbal notes of fresh mint and eucalyptus.
  • Taste: Sweet, fruity and citric with flavour of green grapes and peach melba, clementine, lime zest. But also nutty notes of almond and hazelnuts, tobacco leaves with a lightly peaty ashy and buttery character.
  • Savour: Herbal and medicinal with exotic fruits, praline and butterscotch note.
(photo courtesy Beam Suntory)