Bowmore Lovers Transformed single malts tell Islay tales in GTR

By Kristiane Sherry |

Bowmore Lovers Transformed brings tales of Islay to life through illustration.

Beam Suntory-owned distillery Bowmore has released the latest single malts in its collaboration with Frank Quitely, a pair called Bowmore Lovers Transformed.

The two expressions, both featuring Quitely’s illustrations, tell a traditional story from Islay, the distillery’s native island.

The first is a 23 year old bottling finished in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks. The second is a 36 year old release finished in first-fill Pinot Noir barriques, and is the oldest in the Frank Quitely collaboration.

Available in select GTR locations now, Bowmore Lovers Transformed follows in the storytelling footsteps of predecessors No Corners to Hide and The Changeling.

Quitely’s illustrations – he is known for his Marvel and DC Comics work – reflect both the island’s heritage and Bowmore’s style. 

Lovers Transformed was inspired by the story of a daughter of a Pictish King from the East. She fell in love with a Celtic warrior captured from the West. They set sail to the warrior’s Islay home to be together.

According to legend, their boat was lost in a storm with the lovers claimed by the sea. They were never found, but two white gulls were seen flying together. The pair of whiskies celebrate their story.

The two whiskies themselves are said to be true to the signature Bowmore distillery character.

Limited to 8,000 bottles The Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old (50.9% ABV) has given tasting notes of toffee, sea salt, tanned leather, honeycomb, dark chocolate and parma violets. 

Only 700 bottles of The Lovers Transformed 36 Year Old (45.2% ABV) have been made available. The older release has given tasting notes of fresh pineapple, safe, apricots, lemon, white pepper, and gentle peat smoke. 

The Lovers Transformed 23 Year Old has an RRSP of US$470, while The Lovers Transformed 36 Year Old is priced at US$4,000. 

Locations where the pair are available include China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, MEA, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US.

Bowmore Lovers Transformed: ‘Captivating’ whiskies

“To continue to tell these incredible stories through such awe-inspiring and special whiskies is hugely rewarding for me,” said 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. 

Bowmore Lovers Transformed pair

Quitely was ‘extremely drawn’ to the story of the two lovers

“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, added: “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 storytelling 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.”

Earlier this month, Unifree hosted a Bowmore x Aston Martin pop-up at Istanbul Airport.

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