Bowmore has introduced its No Corners to Hide series, a collaboration between acclaimed graphic artist Frank Quitely, who has illustrated for Marvel and DC Comics, and Bowmore’s Master Blender Ron Welsh. The series begins with two new whiskies, a 23 Year Old and a 32 Year Old.
Inspired by the most intriguing myths and legends from the remote island of Islay, each bottle in the collaboration features exclusive designs and artwork from Frank Quitely. The illustrations showcase Islay’s far-reaching history and rich stories of a bygone era and embody the artistic expression of Bowmore’s style.
As the myth behind No Corners to Hide goes, back in 1837, on a clear winter’s evening, the devil visited the church in Bowmore. This is no ordinary church. Strikingly round in shape, purposely built, in preparation for such a visit as there were no corners in which the devil could hide. Despite the best efforts of the local congregation who chased the devil from the church to the Bowmore distillery where they bolted the gates and locked the doors, the search proved fruitless and the devil had vanished. That night, The Maid of Islay, a small paddle steamer used for transporting Bowmore whisky, was loaded with casks for the mainland. The devil was never found, but it’s believed that he hid himself in a cask, where ironically, there too are no corners to hide.
Calling on his earliest memories of Scottish folklore, Quitely is no stranger to the role of the devil in many an epic tale. Today thirty years since his creative journey began, his status as a master storyteller is cemented in the world of graphic illustration and his accolades are themselves awe-inspiring. “To get the call from Bowmore, a legendary icon in the world of whisky, was offering me the opportunity of retelling the Islay Legend No Corners to Hide was hugely exciting” says Quitely. He continues, “And to do this in a single image would prove massively challenging but taking inspiration in the Devil himself, it’s all in the detail.”
The limited-edition series features two single malts, 23-Year-Old and 32-Year-Old, which are exclusively available in select Global Travel Retail outlets including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Vienna, Dubai, Singapore, and Taiwan.
The 23-Year-Old captures a whisky character inspired by the story of No Corners to Hide. The spirit was nurtured in ex-bourbon American oak hogsheads to create the signature Bowmore style. Two years of further maturation followed in Essencia barriques “to create a powerful character conjuring up a sensory exploration of this mythical tale,” says the brand. “It captures a hint of beeswax, a scent of incense and a struck match to transport the senses to Bowmore’s round church.” Each bottle is decorated with illustrations and sketches from Frank Quitely.
Bottled at 51.5% ABV, the 23 Year Old offers medicinal, floral, and spicy aromas, alongside the fragrance of white roses, peonies, sweet peas, and gardenias. The palate features sweet notes of golden syrup, acacia honey, and marzipan with peaty sooty taste and oily peppery mouthfeel. The finish is creamy, slightly salty, and spicy
The 32-Year-Old captures “a moment in time; a story as captivating as the myth it celebrates,” says the brand. An initial 30 years of maturation in ex-bourbon American oak hogsheads reflects a timely occupation in cask, much like the devil’s own alleged escape. This was followed by two further years in Essencia barriques to bring an unusually distinctive character to the fore, again combining beeswax, incense and struck match. Each bottle comes complete with a signed print from Frank Quitely, alongside original sketches and notes from the whisky making process.
Bottled at 47.3%, the 32 Year Old offers aromas of zesty Seville orange peel, old cigar box, Manuka honey, salted caramel, and light gorse flower. The nose features a touch of liquorice, sweet fresh tobacco, oak spice, nutmeg, peppercorn and cloves, vanilla, peat smoke and iodine. The finish is mouth warming with flavors of dry grass and subtle smoke.
“Bowmore has a rich history filled with myths and legends, and we’re delighted to partner with the award-winning Frank Quitely to bring these tales to life,” said Manuel González, Marketing Director GTR for Beam Suntory. “Possessing a proven track record of producing collectible artwork with both Marvel and DC, the Frank Quitely Collection is our latest exciting collaboration to offer luxury limited-editions to our customers.”
Bowmore No Corners to Hide is available exclusively in select Global Travel Retail outlets including Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Dubai, and Singapore Changi.
Just 6666 bottles of the 23 Year Old will be made available and are priced at $400. Only 666 bottles of the 32 Year Old will be released and are priced at $2,995.
For more information, head over to Bomore’s official website.
Last month, Bowmore Distillery unveiled its “Ultimate” rare whisky collection for 2022. The range is comprised of three single malt Scotches, including a 1969 bottling priced at $47,700 as well as the exclusive 2021 releases of Bowmore 30-Year-Old and Bowmore 40-Year-Old.