Dusting off an old legend, Bowmore has teamed up with Frank Quitely to create No Corners To Hide. The acclaimed illustrator has worked for Marvel and DC Comics. Now his artwork graces two new Global Travel Retail releases from Bowmore, a 23 and 32 year old single malt.
With No Corners to Hide, Bowmore Master Blender Ron Welsh and Frank Quitely took inspiration from a story that dates back to 1837. It’s a tale that should be familiar to anyone familiar with the Bowmore Devil’s Casks series, which was inspired by the same tale.
If you’ve ever been in the town of Bowmore, you will have noticed the big round church. It was purposely built this way. Should the devil ever come to visit there would be no corners to hide. As legend has it, exactly this happened on a dark winter’s evening in 1837.
A Devilish Tale
The local congregation chased the devil from the church to Bowmore distillery. They bolted the gates and locked the doors. Alas, further searching proved fruitless and the devil had vanished.
That same night a small paddle steamer was loaded with casks of Bowmore whisky and headed for the mainland. The devil was never found, but it was believed he hid himself in a cask to escape the angry (or scared?) locals.
It’s quite the tale, but I’m honestly a bit surprised that Bowmore has already recycled it. Then again, it’s been 6 years since the last installment of the Devil’s Casks series has been released, so I suppose there’s a whole new contingent of whisky drinkers not yet familiar with the story.
Also, I understand how a story like this would be inspiring to an illustrator like Frank Quitely. This Scottish comic book artist worked on titles such as New X-Men, We3, All-Star Superman and Batman and Robin. He 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.”
Looking beyond myths and legends, each of the two new Bowmore No Corners To Hide expressions have been finished in a peculiar cask type. After an initial maturation in ex-bourbon American oak hogsheads, both the 23-year-old and 32-year-old spent two years in so-called Essencia barriques.
These casks are built by Tonnellerie Demptos, a French cooperage. According to the company’s website, these barrels are made from oak selected for its norisoprenoid content and are the result of years of scientific research. Norisoprenoids are aromatic compounds that contribute to the character of many wines. Essencia barriques are predominantly made for the wine industry and are designed to encourage fruity and floral aromas.
The Bowmore No Corners To Hide 23-years-old is bottled at 51.5% abv. According to the distillery aromas include “a hint of beeswax, a scent of incense and a struck match”. Each bottle is decorated with illustrations and sketches from Frank Quitely. The retail price will be around 350 euro/400 dollars.
The Bowmore No Corners To Hide 32-years-old builds upon the same aromas and flavours as its younger sibling. But it also adds “Seville orange peel merged with the aromas of an old cigar box, but with sweet and floral interjections end finishing with a touch of liquorice and iodine.” Each bottle comes with a signed print from Quitely and will retail for around 2,600 euro/3,000 dollars.
Bowmore No Corners to Hide is exclusively available in Global Travel Retail, including Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Dubai and Singapore Changi. In the coming years more tales from the distillery’s past will be brought to life.