Whisky Focus - Bowmore The Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old & 36 Year Old Whiskies

Bowmore The Lovers Transformed 23 & 36 Year Old Whiskies

8th September 2023
Bowmore unveils two new travel retail exclusive limited edition whiskies, Bowmore Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old and 36 Year Old.

Bowmore Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old and 36 Year Old

For more than 240 years, Bowmore has been capturing the essence of Islay, the picturesque home of the Bowmore Distillery. This remote Scottish island is steeped in history, brimming with myth and legend. In a tribute to these captivating tales, Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky proudly presents the third instalment of its acclaimed collaboration with the graphic artist and illustrator, Frank Quitely. This extraordinary release, named 'Lovers Transformed,' comprises two exclusive collectible single malts: a Bowmore 23 Year Old and a Bowmore 36 Year Old. These remarkable whiskies will make their debut in select travel retail locations worldwide, starting from September 11th.

Like their predecessors, 'No Corners to Hide' and 'The Changeling,' the Lovers Transformed whiskies draw inspiration from Islay's folklore. Both expressions showcase exclusive designs by Quitely, renowned for his illustrations in Marvel and DC Comics. These designs visually reinterpret the classic tale, unveiling two multi-dimensional whiskies that bring the legend to life in a sensory experience.

Quitely's illustrations and artwork vividly depict the rich and evocative history of Islay while embodying Bowmore's artistic style. They perfectly encapsulate the narrative of Lovers Transformed, making these editions highly sought-after collector's items.

The Lovers Transformed Whiskies:
Both expressions in this collection stay true to Bowmore's acclaimed signature house style. They feature carefully selected elements and finishing that resonate with the mythical narrative, showcasing Bowmore's Islay heritage. At every level, this is a tale of artistry, depth, and complexity, flowing seamlessly from the waters of Islay to the creation of these exceptional whiskies.

Bowmore The Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old (50.9% ABV) is said to be an outstanding single malt, matured in refill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry seasoned European Oak casks. There will be a limited release of 8,000 bottles.

On the nose, the whisky greets you with the distinctive freshness of Atlantic Ocean sea salt, evolving into richer notes of toffee, salted caramel, tanned leather, honeycomb, stewed apples, rhubarb, and ground ginger. Hints of rose petals and parma violets linger in the background.

On the palate, the liquid offers a symphony of sweet, peaty notes reminiscent of golden maple syrup, demerara sugar, cocoa beans, dark chocolate, and liquorice root, with a subtle hazelnut undertone and tannic echoes. The finish is a tapestry of richness and earthiness, leaving a lingering honeyed sweetness.

Bowmore The Lovers Transformed 36 Year Old (45.2% ABV) represents the pinnacle of the Frank Quitely collaboration, with only 700 bottles available.

This rare Bowmore  single malt finds its finishing touch in first-fill Pinot Noir wine barriques. On the nose, this deep amber whisky combines notes of crisp green apple, violet, and fresh pineapple, leading to herbal scents of sage and thyme, plum, dried cloves, and apricots. This aromatic journey is balanced by sweet, spicy cinnamon and fudge.

On the palate, the whisky opens with an oily and earthy texture, revealing notes of sweet vanilla, juicy blackcurrants, and lemon, with a subtle undercurrent of sea salt, white pepper, liquorice root, and oak. The long, rich, and smooth finish is enhanced with nuances of orange, spice, and a gentle hint of peat smoke.

The Bowmore Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old has a suggested retail price of US$470, while the Bowmore Lovers Transformed 36 Year Old is priced at US$4,000. They are both limited-edition travel retail exclusive rleleases and will be available in China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, MEA, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US

If you have no plans to travel in the near future you will find the current Bowmore domestic whisky range available f
rom specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

The Lovers Transformed Myth

For those of you interested in the story that inspired this release then here it is:

Lovers Transformed draws its inspiration from an age-old tale, recounting the story of the daughter of an Eastern Pictish King who found love with a Celtic warrior from the Western lands. In their fervent desire to be together, this star-crossed pair embarked on a perilous journey, setting sail from the Scottish mainland to the warrior's homeland on the enchanting Isle of Islay.

Their voyage took a fateful turn as a tempestuous storm engulfed their vessel, sending it to the depths of the sea. Bound tightly to each other, the young lovers met their watery fate, disappearing into the depths of the ocean's embrace. As the eerie silence of the following day settled upon Islay, the shattered remnants of their vessel were discovered strewn along the island's rugged coastline. Yet, no trace remained of the lovers, except for a pair of white gulls soaring high above, refusing to settle either to the East or the West, as if torn between two worlds.

Even today, on the Isle of Islay, whenever two gulls grace the empty sky with their presence, glasses are raised in solemn tribute to the enduring legend of the Lovers Transformed.

"To continue to tell these incredible stories through such awe-inspiring and special whiskies is hugely rewarding for me,” noted Quitely. “The whiskies themselves are truly captivating, so it is vital for me to ensure I bring them and the incredible mythical tales to life in an equally captivating way in my work.

"When I first heard this story, I was extremely drawn to it and right from the get-go I could imagine the illustration of their final moments together – embracing beneath the surface, like a quiet underwater ballet, whilst a crack of lightning appeared overhead. A truly mesmerising tale of love and commitment, much like the craftmanship that goes into these beautiful whiskies."

Beam Suntory Brand Marketing Director Global Travel Retail Manuel Gonzalez commented: "We are thrilled to unveil the third release of our collaboration with graphist artist and illustrator Frank Quitely, and explore another captivating Islay myth.

"These two very special collectible whiskies showcase our commitment to creating sought-after exclusives, and demonstrate how we are harnessing exceptional story-telling to build our brand presence, and provide compelling propositions for our discerning travelling consumers. We are confident that Lovers Transformed will be yet another sell-out success."

Where To Buy Whisky Online

Select a country for a list of specialist Whisky shops who delivers to you:


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