The Dalmore recently partnered with V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, on a series of new high end whiskies housed in sculptures designed by Kengo Kuma, the museum’s globally acclaimed architect. One of these is set for auction at Sotheby’s.
The Dalmore The Luminary No.1 The Rare, according to those behind it, is a 48 year old Scotch single malt inside a decanter housed in a sculpture made of 48 hand-crafted diamond-shaped particles of Scottish Oak, Japanese Oak and polished metal to represent the number of years the whisky was nurtured by Master Distiller Richard Paterson.
Only three bottles and two sculptures have been created. One of these complete editions will be held at the distillery’s Highland home, the second is destined for auction at Sotheby’s in London on 16 November, with an estimate of £95,000-180,000 and bidding online from 1 November. A portion of the proceeds will to be donated to V&A Dundee. The third bottle will be released as part of a compendium release of the series in the years to come.
For those curious about the art thought process behind this, it is said that “Kuma’s sculpture highlights the architect’s signature gentle interrogation and intimate understanding of natural materials and negative space, making use of metal and wood to frame the decanter at its centre. The oak diamonds mingle with light reflected from the shiny metal particles to achieve a sense of balance and harmony, in a nod to the art of the Master Distillers who create perfectly harmonious whisky flavours.”
The Scottish oak wood chosen for the project was sourced from a tree that had fallen on the banks of the River Tay where V&A Dundee sits.
“Working with The Dalmore always brings new surprises as their creativity seemingly knows no bounds,” said Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Head of Whisky & Spirits, North America and EMEA, in a prepared statement. “The Luminary is not simply an extremely rare bottle, but one of exceptional quality with an exquisite design lovingly put together by Richard and Kuma.
“This is Sotheby’s third partnership with The Dalmore in recent years and there is no better way to close out our 2022 auctions in London than with this marriage of whisky and design.”
As for specifics of the whisky itself, it is described as “a unique assemblage of rare and aged Dalmore whisky with influences from Oloroso and Apostoles Sherry, Vintage Port and American White Oak. The assemblage has been finished in Scottish Tay Oak and Japanese Oak casks, air-dried at the distillery for years.”
Official tasting notes are as follows.
- The Aroma: A multitude of exotic nuances come together in true harmony, black morello cherries, roasted coffee beans, Ogen melon drenched in Port wine and honeysuckle.
- The Palate: An energetic vibrancy of Black Forest fruit, maple syrup, crushed Pontefract cakes and thick chocolate cake.
- Finishing Notes: Demerara sugar, Seville orange marmalade and apricots.