Among scotch aficionados, Bowmore needs no introduction. Sukhinder Singh, founder of the Whiskey Exchange and owner of one of the most valuable single-malt collections in the world, once proclaimed that “Bowmore whiskies distilled in the 1960s are some of the finest ever made.” Limited to just 100 bottles, the new ARC-52 is one such example; it represents the latest collaboration between the nearly 250-year-old distillery and Aston Martin Lagonda, purveyor of some of the world’s most beautiful automobiles.
Distilled in 1968, the white dog that would become ARC-52 was divided into two types of casks, an American oak Hogshead and a larger Butt made of European oak, where the juice would rest for over half a century in the bowels of Islay’s oldest distillery before being married—using precisely 50 percent of each single malt—and bottled. And what a bottle: In a rare-spirits world awash in gimmicky and overblown packaging conceits, ARC-52 is the unique example where the vessel is as worthy of contemplation as the liquid it contains.
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Unlike the typical automotive luxury collaboration—be it Swiss chronometer, branded luggage or gleaming Miami residence—that’s met with bored eye-rolling, this sleek carafe represents design at the apex of modernity, a swooping objet d’art that evokes an Anish Kapoor sculpture. Conceived through a combination of computer-aided design, 3-D printing and clay modeling, the bottle required master glassblowers to bring it to life. It even comes with a magnetic opener to release the sleek aluminum top, similar to how a modern Aston unlocks at the wave of its key fob—and, rather than contrived, the feature is actually quite inspired. If you were redesigning a spirits bottle for the modern era, wouldn’t you incorporate an invisible, high-tech lock to protect your $75,000 whisky?
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