The latest instalment in the ongoing partnership between Aston Martin and the historic Islay distiller, Bowmore Masters’ Selection 21-Year-Old whisky brings together the worlds of automotive design and whisky-making in a unique single malt. As the first in a series to be produced in collaboration with the marque, this limited-edition expression was realised by the ‘master’ behind each brand, namely Bowmore’s Master Blender Ron Welsh and Aston Martin’s Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman. 

The project proved the perfect opportunity for Welsh and Reichman to collaborate and learn from one another. The whisky took over nine months to complete, with the pair conducting tasting sessions via Zoom to develop the complex recipe, sampling drams from various casks to identify different flavour profiles.

Lift the Spirits with Bowmore’s Latest Aston Martin Whisky

Created by Bowmore Master Blender Ron Welsh and Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, the 21-Year-Old Masters’ Selection epitomises the best of both world-class brands

“I learned so much in those sessions,” says Reichman. “Ron is such an expert that he can tell a whisky’s age and the kind of cask it was matured in just by looking at the colour. The more I listened, looked and smelled, the more I learned about the actual scientific processes behind a given flavour — which comes back to the flavour in the barrel, the flavour in the wood and where the wood came from. It’s why a molecule of taste can have the flavour of tobacco, for example. It’s not imagination, it’s sensorial perception. Everyone smells and tastes slightly differently, just as they see colour slightly differently.” 

Reichman, of course, also brought his own unique expertise to the table. Masters’ Selection is heavily influenced by the golden ratio — a mathematical formula found in nature that creates aesthetically pleasing compositions, and that informs the design of every Aston Martin. Masters’ Selection marks the first Bowmore whisky to adhere to the golden ratio, which Reichman describes as “the optimal of proportions — the force which guides the creation of absolute beauty”. He adds, “Coming together with Ron on the whisky brings a whole new perspective, creating a beautiful yet powerful equilibrium.” 

Created by Bowmore Master Blender Ron Welsh and Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, the 21-Year-Old Masters’ Selection epitomises  the best of both world-class brands

The pair have crafted a whisky informed by shared skills, savoir-faire and perfectly precise proportions. The engineered approach results in a dram with exceptional depth and balance, seamlessly marrying a spectrum of contrasting qualities. 
The divine proportion (61.8%) features a base of 21-year-old Bowmore whisky matured in first-fill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks, while the remaining parts — comprising exact ratios of each other — include aged Bowmore spirits matured for over 35 years. 

“While Aston Martin always looks to the future to design new cars, it also ensures that it doesn’t lose sight of its history — it always looks back when moving forward,” says Welsh. “This is one reason that the 21-Year-Old Masters’ Selection has a large portion of whisky from the 1980s. My Gaydon visit also inspired me to try and bring the aroma of leather to the whisky.”

The whisky opens with aromas of Manuka honey, maple syrup and freshly tanned leather, while notes of sherry, cacao and Islay peat come to life on the palate along with Morello cherries and tropical papaya. The finish is sweet, spicy and warming, with a lingering tingle of woody spices and coconut. 

Created by Bowmore Master Blender Ron Welsh and Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman, the 21-Year-Old Masters’ Selection epitomises  the best of both world-class brands

Welsh describes the spirit as a “cohesive addition” to the distiller’s portfolio. “Having said this,” he adds, “it does stand out from the other expressions of a similar age. It has greater elegance and complexity. The fact that it has seven different fill years from six different cask types shines through, complete with multiple layers of aroma and flavour.” 

“A big part of the Aston Martin influence is the powerful taste — one that doesn’t disappear from the palate, but leaves a beautiful lasting flavour,” says Reichman. Like Welsh, he enjoys his Masters’ Selection neat, taking his time to reflect on and appreciate the whisky. “Because it’s so intense, it does make you think. It is pure pleasure.” 

Bowmore Masters’ Selection 21-Year-Old single malt is available at an RSP of £300, bowmore.com

This story is an extract from an article featured in the AM50 issue of Aston Martin magazine, out now. If you're not already a subscriber, visit magazine.astonmartin.com/magazine-subscription so that you can read the full story. 

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