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Issue 107 - From Stave to Stage

Whisky Magazine Issue 107
October 2012


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From Stave to Stage

We follow the process of creating some very special guitars

Most casks when they get beyond the point of being useful for maturing whisky, and past the point of being rejuvenated effectively, can end up as planters at garden centres; however occasionally some are turned into things of beauty.

This is exactly what happened to a few lucky ex Oloroso casks from Northern Irish distiller Bushmills as it joined forces with guitar making legend George Lowden to create three very special acoustic guitars.

Based in Northern Ireland, George and his team has crafted guitars for some of most famous names in the music industry, including Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and The Edge.

The handmade barrel oak guitars were presented to multi-platinum selling band Snow Patrol and award winning singer songwriter Foy Vance as a thank-you for their participation in Bushmills Live, the whiskey and music festival which took place at the Old Bushmills Distillery in June 2012.

Foy says it was like a dream come true being handed the one-off guitar. He adds: "It's a lovely thing to have and hugely unique, each one is different so you have George Lowden handmade one of one; that's an honour for me.

"I grew up just hankering after his guitars. The second I figured out what I liked about sound I started to appreciate acoustic guitars. It doesn't take a genius to work out that George is pretty much the best there is, and he is renowned the world over for that.

"Now I have about four or five of them now, but this one hugely special, you know. My favourite distiller...

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