Bowmore is no stranger to high-end single malt scotch whisky collaborations, as evidenced by the Islay distillery’s ongoing partnership with luxury partner Aston Martin. But for this new pair of decades-old, travel retail-exclusive whiskies, Bowmore partnered up with Scottish graphic and comic book artist Frank Quitely.
Quitely, whose real name is Vincent Patrick Deighan, is known for working on Marvel and DC titles like New X-Men and Batman and Robin, and others including Jupiter’s Legacy. This is the second time he’s worked with Bowmore, the first being last year’s No Corners to Hide which was a duo of 23 and 32-year-old whiskies featuring his artwork on the bottles and boxes. The Changeling is the new entry in the Frank Quitely collection, which is supposed to evoke the folklore of Islay through taste and design. “To continue to tell these incredible stories through such awe-inspiring and special whiskies is both hugely exciting and rewarding for me,” Quitely said in a statement. “We started from a different place this time, with a very different narrative to bring to life, but I needed to make sure this was an evolution from No Corners to Hide. The whiskies themselves are captivating and it’s vital to me that I do them justice in my work.”
Each whisky in the pair, a 22-year-old and 33-year-old single malt, was initially matured in American oak hogsheads before being finished in different types of port casks. The 22 was aged for 20 years and then put into white port barrels for an additional two, and the 33 was aged for 31.5 years and then put into tawny port barrels for its final year and a half. “Taking this story of transformation as the inspiration, we’ve brought together different maturation styles to shape the character of each of these exquisite expressions,” said Bowmore master blender Ron Welsh in a press release. “The choice of port casks to add a distinct dimension to their characters is an intentional, and vital, part of the creative process. Keeping the story firmly front of mind, the whisky tells its own story, defined by intriguing flavors and aromas which bring the story to life and immerse the senses.”
There are 6,667 bottles of the 22-year-old (SRP $440) and just 667 bottles of the 33 (SRP $3,300). In order to try these whiskies, you’ll have to hit up the travel retail shops in locations including Paris, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dubai, Singapore, Taipei, London Heathrow and New York, as well as select stores on the island of Hainan. It’s almost worth booking an overseas trip for whiskyphiles.