The myths and legends of Islay are being celebrated in two new whisky releases.
For more than 240 years, Bowmore Distillery has been capturing the essence of Islay from shores of its remote island home.
The island has a far-reaching history peppered with the most intriguing of myths and legends, which are being celebrated with the unveiling of Bowmore No Corners to Hide, an intriguing collaboration between acclaimed Scottish graphic artist Frank Quitely and Bowmore’s Master Blender Ron Welsh, to create a visual and sensory masterpiece.
Through his inspiring creative lens, Frank reinterprets this story; paying homage to a legend which has shaped the village of Bowmore and our distillery home. As the story 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. 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.
From Marvel to DC Comics, Superman to X-Men, his pedigree is unquestionable.
Frank said: ‘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, 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, exclusively available in selected travel retail destinations, combines two stunning single malts aged 23 and 32 Years Old. Much like the devil, both aged spirits took their own particularly unusual defining journey in Essencia barriques, a peculiarly rare ‘Rose Oak’ dating back to
The 23-Year-Old began its journey with 21 years nurtured in ex-bourbon American oak hogsheads, to create the signature style of Bowmore. Two years of further maturation followed in Essencia barriques creating a distinctive character alluding to, and conjuring up, a sensory exploration of this definitive tale combines.
The 32-Year-Old captures a moment in time; a story as captivating as the myth it celebrates. 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, followed by two further years in Essencia barriques to bring an unusually distinctive character to the fore, again combining beeswax, incense and struck match.
Bowmore No Corners to Hide is available exclusively in select Global Travel Retail outlets including Amsterdam Schipol, Frankfurt, Hamburgh, Vienna, Dubai, and Singapore and Taiwan off-shore stores at an RRSP of $400 23-year-old and $2,995 32-year-old.
The collaboration marks the first release in the collaboration and will see a number of stories come to life over the coming years, regaling tales from Bowmore’s legendary past.
You can see the Bowmore Frank Quitely Series online HERE.
Born in Glasgow in 1968, Vincent Deighan loved to draw. His dream was to make this his career. After studying Drawing and Painting at Glasgow School of Art, he began his creative exploration through the world of comic fiction.
Carving an impressive career from the Scottish underground comic scene, he adopted the pseudonym Frank Quitely, a name now synonymous with cutting edge visual storytelling.
In 2017, an exhibition of his work went on show at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Later that year, Vincent received an honorary degree as a Doctor of Letters from the University of Glasgow, in recognition of his achievements.