Islay distillery Bowmore has unveiled the final whisky in its Vaults Series: an ‘ultra rare’ single malt from 1969 priced at US$42,000. The limited edition whisky will be rolled out exclusively in global travel retail in the coming months.

With just 339 bottles available globally, Bowmore 1969 was matured in American oak ex-Bourbon barrels and hogsheads. It offers notes of citrus fruits, honey, vanilla and apple pie on the nose, with almonds, lemon, crème caramel, coconut and peat smoke on the palate – though the producer said the single malt’s flavour profile is ‘almost undefinable’.

The 50-year old bottling is now available to buy at London Heathrow Airport, and will debut in Amsterdam Schipol Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Istanbul Airport and more in the months ahead.

It joins expressions from 1965, 1966 and 1964 in the whisky maker’s Vaults collection.

“The 1960s are truly the defining decade for Bowmore distillery and rightfully these incredible whiskies have become amongst the most admired and revered single malts we’ve ever produced,” said David Turner, distillery manager.

“The depth of character in this 50-year-old whisky is mind blowing and anyone lucky enough to try this will be tasting an exceptionally scarce part of the Bowmore legacy.”

1965 availability

In 2018, Bowmore debuted its 1965 release, limited to only 232 bottles.

The 52-year-old whisky initially launched in Los Angeles International Airport, and will be available to purchase at the Hainan Sanya Downtown duty-free store soon.

“We’re delighted to launch Bowmore 1969 exclusively to global travel retail in the coming months so that travellers can experience the liquid gold firsthand. Paired with the Bowmore 1965, the bottles are perfect for collectors, drinkers and investors alike,” said Manuel González, marketing director of GTR for Beam Suntory, which owns Bowmore.

“They showcase some of the rarest whiskies from the timeless Bowmore distillery and bring a totally new aged expression to the whisky portfolio. They will certainly tantalise both dedicated fans and curious customers to discover the outstanding whiskies.”