The golden ratio lies at the heart of the Aston Martin design process, so it made sense for Bowmore, when crafting the latest collaboration with the brand, the Masters’ Selection 21, to experiment with it when blending malts for the bottling. “Thirty different blends were tried,” says Bowmore Master Blender Ron Welsh, before they came upon one that tasted just right – which, as it happened, was one of the ones with proportions most similar to the golden ratio.
Brand partnerships can have varying degrees of involvement, from ships passing in the night to daily conversations. The emerging connection between Bowmore and Aston Martin is much closer to the latter, as Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Office of Aston Martin, explains: “We view ourselves as experts learning from each other. We’ve spent well over a year visiting and learning. We take pride in only partnering with the best – and that’s what Bowmore is.”
The resulting whisky does possess a remarkable elegance – but also a fiery underbelly, like all the best Bowmore bottlings (and, for that matter, Aston Martin cars). The brands previously collaborated on Black Bowmore DB5 1964, an extremely limited edition of just 25 bottles of one-of-a-kind spirit. This new bottling, which extends to 12,000 bottles – quite modest by contemporary standards – is more accessible but retains a remarkable sophistication, as the liquid has been aged at least 21 years in the cask.
The first edition of the Masters’ Selection series, it’s a remarkable spirit that presages many more excellent editions to follow. Now if only they can get the new Bond to sip Bowmore as well.