Simon Wittenberg takes a look at a world-first collaboration between The Dalmore, the luxury single malt whisky producer, and the V&A Dundee design museum in Scotland.
The Dalmore Highland Single Malt has partnered with the V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, to create The Luminary Series, bringing together exceptional talent from the spheres of whisky and architecture.
Starting this year, the collection will see the release of three annual editions, each containing two Luminary single malts called “The Rare” and “The Collectible”. They have been designed to showcase the stories of visionary artisans honing their craft, and to commemorate luminaries who inspire people to realise their full potential.
The first launch in the new series, which reveals the work of the V&A Dundee’s renowned architect Kengo Kuma and his protégé Maurizio Mucciola (above), is the Luminary No.1, 2022 Edition, a collaboration that brings together culture and craft.
Luminary No.1 – The Rare Edition
Co-conceived by Kengo Kuma, the only architect to be named in the prestigious TIME 100 in 2021, and The Dalmore’s Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE, The Rare is a 48-year-old single malt, limited to only three bottles worldwide. Housed in a unique sculpture designed by Kengo Kuma, comprising 48 particles and handcrafted in Japanese oak, Scottish oak and steel, the extremely scarce and valuable whisky has been personally nurtured by Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE (below) for nearly half a century and is finished in casks of Scottish Tay and Japanese oak, dried at the distillery over many years.
The expression delivers an aroma of black morello cherries, roasted coffee beans, and Ogen melon drenched in Port wine and honeysuckle. The palate is treated to an energetic vibrancy of Black Forest fruit, maple syrup, crushed Pontefract cakes and thick chocolate cake. The finish is comprised of Demerara sugar, Seville orange marmalade and apricots.
The first of the two sculptures created to display The Rare edition will be sold at Sotheby’s London, with a portion of the proceeds donated to V&A Dundee. The second bottle will be housed at the distillery’s Highland home. One exquisite bottle and an accompanying sculpture of the Luminary No.1 Rare will be available to acquire at auction in November this year, with a portion of the proceeds donated to V&A Dundee. The original designer’s proof of the sculpture will be on public display at V&A Dundee from the end of this month.
Luminary No.1 – The Collectible Edition
For The Collectible, The Dalmore’s Whisky Maker Gregg Glass (below) created an innovative 15-year-old single malt highlighting his passion for wood and flavour, which is held in a contemporary case designed by Kuma-san’s protégé Maurizio Mucciola.
The Collectible whisky was born in American white oak and finished in hand-selected Italian Amarone red wine casks and bespoke ‘Kintsugi’ barrels, made from Scottish Tay oak, sourced from an upcycled tree stemming from the banks of the River Tay, Japanese Mizunara oak and American white oak – a tribute to the heritage of each Luminary.
Mucciola skilfully pays homage to his mentor’s design vocabulary, using the same animated geometric particles scattered across the case. His design celebrates this unique world-first release and the importance of channelling potential with material components.
In contrast to The Rare, The Collectible offers notes of warm and welcoming rich fruits, panna cotta, honey roasted almonds and citrus oils, with multi layers of rich and uplifting citrus, chocolate, cherries, figs, brioche, and moist ginger cake, coming to the fore on the palate. Waves of dried fruits and honey entwined with balanced wood spice and cacao, provide a memorable finish.
Around 15,000 bottles of The Collectible Edition have been made available at an RRP of £250 from luxury retailers worldwide, including Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols in London.
The Dalmore’s Master Richard Paterson OBE explained that it had been an absolute privilege to collaborate with Kengo Kuma, and to draw inspiration from his rich experience in bringing this new release to life. He added that The Rare was a wonderful celebration of cultural heritage, and that the exceptionally scarce single malt told a beautiful story of the coming together of disparate parts into a greater whole.
The Dalmore Luminary Series – Where and How?
For more information on The Dalmore Luminary Series, visit www.thedalmore.com.
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