The Queen's Golden Jubilee 2002


In August 1980, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Bowmore Distillery on the southern Hebridean Island of Islay, the first whisky distillery Her Majesty had ever visited. To mark this unique occasion Bowmore Distillery filled on that day, a special cask and named it the ‘Queen's Cask’.

For over 21 years the cask slept silently in the famous No.1 Vaults at Bowmore Distillery, proudly displayed in a specially constructed visitor viewing area. After discussion with Buckingham Palace it was agreed that it should be bottled in celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002, thereby marking two significant occasions within the lifetime of this particular single malt whisky.

                      1980 Distillation 21 Years Old                      
                      1980 Distillation 30 Years Old                      

1980 Distillation - 21 Years Old - 51.1%

1980 Distillation 21 Years Old
Queen's Cask
This unique cask produced 648 bottles. Each bottle was hand-filled at the distillery, individually numbered and packaged in presentation boxes designed around the official Golden Jubilee colours.

Unlike previous limited editions from the Bowmore Distillery, the bottles are not available for retail. Her Majesty The Queen will be presented with the entire consignment, to use as gifts to visiting foreign dignitaries and official guests at Buckingham Palace. Importantly a chosen number will be released through appropriate auction houses and selected Royal events to raise money for Her Majesty The Queen’s nominated Golden Jubilee charities.

The Palace has kindly granted that one bottle be permanently displayed at Bowmore Distillery and that a further bottle can be auctioned for Morrison Bowmore Distillers' chosen charity which is the Children's Hospice Association Scotland.


Without doubt the Queen's Cask Bowmore bottling is an exceptionally rare piece of whisky distilling history and has unique Royal provenance. Not only was the spirit laid down to commemorate The Queen's landmark visit to Bowmore Distillery but it has now been chosen by the Palace to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee 21 years later.

Tasting notes

Full & mellow. On nosing, one may find rich dark chocolate with hints of liquorice and sherry. One is also
reminded of wonderful aromas of mountain pine trees. The palate is rewarded with Madeira richness and
sweet toffee overtones. The finish is long and fruity.

Personal anecdote

On the 12th of October 2002 I wrote a letter to Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace, requesting to
get 1 bottle of the Queen's Cask 21 Years Old for my collection. It was worth trying wasn't it!? It was a big
surprise when I received a reply from Buckingham Palace dated 21st January 2003. Unfortunately it wasn't
the answer I was hoping for.

In February 2003 I wrote my 2nd letter to Her Majesty the Queen, now requesting for a empty bottle with
packaging. It was a tough thought for me that the empy bottles at the Palace would end up in the garbage
bin. Again I received a reply via de Master of the Household, dated 24th February 2003.
And again no success for me.......

If you are interested in the correspondence between myself and Buckingham Palace, click to download
a PDF file (these files will open in a new window):

            My letter dated 12-10-2002     Buckingham's reply dated 21-01-2003
            My letter dated 07-02-2003     Buckingham's reply dated 24-02-2003

1980 Distillation - 30 Years Old - 46.7%


1980 Distillation 30 Years Old
The Queen's Visit Cask 5774

156 bottles released in 2011

A very special Bowmore from a hogshead filled on August 9th 1980, the day that Queen Elizabeth II visited the distillery. Cask #5774 was acquired by Jim Howat, then Chairman of Morrison Bowmore
and was left in his will to the JTH Charitable Trust he created with his wife Christine. Bottled in 2011,
the cask yielded 156 bottles at a natural strength of 46.7%.



The source of this information and images:

This exquisit whisky retailer is located in London, UK.
The owner is my old friend Mr. Sukhinder Singh.




  Updated 15-09-2019


back to top of page