Aston Martin, Bowmore, and a $65,000 whiskey
During the heady years of the 60s, two things were clear. One, if you were a spy, you had to be James Bond. Two, if you were James Bond, you’d be dead rather than been seen stepping out of anything other than an Aston Martin.
The most storied Aston, however, was the Aston Martin DB 5 from Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery. With a $3 million budget, the third Bond film was, at launch, the most expensive ever. The plot saw James Bond hot on the heels of an international gold smuggler, Auric Goldfinger — who had a thing for dipping his enemies in gold, leaving them to die by ‘skin suffocation’. Needless to say, the master villain found his match in the Scottish heartthrob.
To help him on his mission, MI6’s version of Lockheed’s Skunk Works built him a very special Aston Martin DB 5 — which had several — let’s say ‘aftermarket’ upgrades. Some of the add-ons, like the revolving number plates, were thought up by the production team for a very practical reason — to dodge huge parking fines. The others, like the spikes on the wheel rim, were not installed because they were deemed too heavy and dangerous for practical use. It was a car, after all, not a Roman gladiator’s chariot. But, boy, did we love it! Like the movie, the 1964 Aston Martin DB 5 became a runaway success, and every single one of the 900 cars made found its way into a loving home.
55 years later, Aston Martin announced that it would bring back the DB 5, with the iconic Silver Birch paint as an option. Bond fans, especially the well-heeled ones, rejoice!
The famous coupe returns as a $3.5-million-per unit custom car as part of the Aston Martin Goldfinger Continuation program. It includes many gadgets from the original 1964 Aston Martin DB 5 coupe. Some of which include —
- Rear smoke screen delivery system
- Rear simulated oil slick delivery system
- Revolving number plates front and rear (triple plates)
- Simulated twin front machine guns
- Bullet resistant rear shield
- Battering rams front and rear
- Simulated tire slasher
- Simulated radar screen tracker map
- Telephone in driver’s door
- Gear knob actuator button
- Armrest and center console-mounted switchgear
- Under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray
- Remote control for gadget activation
Each car will take 4500 man-hours to craft because the car’s not exactly — design-spec. You can customize yours. Only 25 will be made, and each one will be powered by a 290 hp inline-6 mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
Wait a minute, where’s the whiskey? Wasn’t that what this article’s about, you’d ask?
Well, let’s go back to 1964. While the world was trying its best not to plunge headlong into World War 3, Bowmore, a whiskey manufacturer, installed its first steam boiler that year, marking a big step into a new age. The company was doing away with the traditional, coal-fired stills that couldn’t hold a candle to the power and efficiency of steam heating. The batch of whiskey that came out of this new steam-heated process has been bottled only six times hence, making it an incredibly rare vintage.
Now, Bowmore and Aston Martin tied hands in 2018, announcing that they’d be coming out with an ultra-exclusive collection called the Black Bowmore DB 5 1964. Not much was known until 2019 when it was revealed that the bottle itself would be made out of the piston of an Aston Martin DB 5. Yes, you read that right. The glass portion, which takes a whole week to finish, is by Glasstorm. This batch of rare liquid luxury comes stored in a handmade box crafted out of calfskin and held together by a nickel-plated latch and hinge. You’ll also get a leather-bound book chronicling the history of Bowmore dating back to 1779.
The whiskey is black, which is a hue the Scottish brewery has sworn by for many years. Like the reborn Aston Martin DB 5, only 25 will be sold. Each bottle will cost a cool $65,000 — as much as a Mercedes-Benz SLC 43 AMG. Will it give the same highs? We’re not quite sure.