70cl / 46.7%
A very special Bowmore from a hogshead filled on August 9th 1980, the day that Queen Elizabeth II visited the distillery. Cask #5774 was acquired by Jim Howat, then Chairman of Morrison Bowmore and was left in his will to the JTH Charitable Trust he created with his wife Christine. Bottled in 2011, the cask yielded 156 bottles at a natural strength of 46.7%.
Tasting Notes From Bowmore
Nose Creamy coconut and vanilla with lots of bananas, peaches and pears
Palate A hint of peat and lots of wood spice
Finish Long and surprisingly dry
Tasting Notes From Tim F
Nose Gentle and very appealing, with creamy melon, patisserie, green apple, white grape and other fresh fruit salad aromas in tandem with some restrained vanilla oak notes
Palate Dry and very fruity, with prominent oak, faint ashy smoke, fresh malt, cooked lemon, apple pie, strawberry jam, and dry spices – dried ginger, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon
Finish Good length. Drying, spicy and moreish
Tasting Notes From Billy A
Nose Sweet and floral (violet and iris), with gummi sweets, crisp apple and a hint of vanilla cream
Palate Some soft and earthy peat at the back, with gentle wood smoke and sandalwood, dry wood, stewed apple and woody spice
Finish Lingering, with driftwood and floral hints
On August 9th 1980, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II paid her first ever visit to a Scotch whisky distillery.
Fittingly, this visit was to one of the oldest and most prestigious distilleries in Scotland: The Bowmore distillery on Islay, which was founded in 1779. The Queen was welcomed to the distillery by Jim Howat, the Chairman of Morrison Bowmore Distillers, who had purchased the distillery with Stanley P. Morrison in 1963.
In honour of the occasion of the Royal visit, a number of casks of whisky were filled: one sherry butt, which was gifted to the Queen herself, and ten American oak hogshead casks. One of the latter was acquired by Jim Howat in honour of the occasion: Cask #5774, which is the sister cask to the Queen's Cask #5775.
After Mr Howat passed away, Cask #5774 became the property of the JTH Charitable Trust, which Jim had founded with his wife Christine in 1989. The trust helps disadvantaged and chronically ill Scots to improve their circumstances, and talented and gifted Scots to fulfil their potential, and since its inception in 1989 has made grants totalling over £5m.
In 2011 Cask #5774, which had rested at the distillery since being filled in 1980, had reached its peak of maturity. Morrison Bowmore designed and carried out a special bottling for the charitable trust, yielding 156 bottles at a natural strength of 46.7%. A number of bottles were bought by the Howats' family and friends or went to auction.
The JTH Charitable Trust has sold the remaining 120 bottles from the cask to The Whisky Exchange, and will use the money from the sale to further its good works in Scotland. TWE will be the exclusive retailer of these last remaining bottles of Bowmore 1980 Cask #5774:
The Queen's Visit.
In 2002, The Queen's Cask (#5775) was bottled as a 21 year old in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, but these bottles were never available for retail. Instead, the entire consignment of 648 bottles was given to the Queen for use as gifts to visiting dignitaries and official guests at Buckingham Palace.
One bottle of the Queen's Cask 21yo was auctioned in 2003, raising £9200 for the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland. Bowmore remains one of the best distilleries from a whisky investment standpoint, with valuable special edition bottlings being snapped up by collectors and frequently recording massive gains on the secondary market.