It tells you a great deal about The Dalmore Highland Single Malt that its new Luminary Series isn’t just rolling out this week, or next month, or even for Christmas – but over the next three years.
This is clearly a distillery that takes time to do things right. But then, 180 years of experience at the top of its game will lend a certain perspective.
To say The Dalmore has form in this regard would be an understatement. For evidence, look no further than last year’s The Dalmore Decades No.6 Collection, which brought together milestone releases from 1951, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1995, and 2000. This one-of-one collection secured a record price of $1.1m at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. The Dalmore donated £100,000 from the sale to Scotland’s first design museum, V&A Dundee, in honour of a four-year partnership between these two highly lauded institutions.
Which brings us neatly back to the new Luminary Series. The first in a three-part series being presented between 2022 and 2024, The Dalmore Luminary Series No. 1 showcases the talents of four luminaries from the worlds of whisky and design – Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE and his protégé Master Whisky Maker Gregg Glass, and internationally acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma and his protégé Maurizio Mucciola, lead architects of V&A Dundee. In each series, two Luminary whiskies will be available – The Rare and The Collectible.
The skills of these four men have been brought together to present two whiskies that unite culture and craft – combining exceptional liquid with bespoke presentation.
“What brings us together is our passion for the balance between nature and nurture, in all we do,” says Glass.
Designing a building cannot be rushed; just like crafting a great whisky, the process takes skill, experience, and above all, time.
The links between these luminaries are multifaceted. There’s a shared sanctity for natural materials, a deep respect for the creative process, and a commitment to pursuing excellence over a lifetime.
As Kengo Kuma explains, “In my work with Richard Paterson and The Dalmore, I see the same respect for the environment, and the same careful attention to the way great design must continue to evolve over time.”
The Dalmore Luminary No.1
Rare – 2022 Edition
A collaboration between Kengo Kuma and Paterson, only three bottles of this exceedingly rare whisky have been produced. Paterson has worked at The Dalmore for 52 years now – and the whisky inside the bottles has been nurtured by him for the past 48 years of those.
The 48 Year Old Single Malt has then been housed in a unique sculpture designed by Kengo Kuma. On a structure of polished steel, there are 48 geometric particles – each representing one year of ageing. These shapes have been handcrafted from both Japanese oak and Scottish oak symbolising the casks in which the whisky was finished.
The first bottle and original designer’s proof of the sculpture is now on public display at V&A Dundee; the second will return to the distillery’s Highland home; and the final will be sold at Sotheby’s London on 16th November, with online bidding starting from 1st November. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to V&A Dundee.
The Dalmore Luminary No. 1
Collectible – 2022 Edition
As students to their masters, Glass and Mucciola were tasked with creating a more accessible whisky that still represented the same principles as its Rare sibling. Together the pair collaborated on both the whisky and its packaging, each lending their unique expertise to this unique project.
Glass began the 15 Year Old Single Malt’s journey in American white oak before finishing it in Italian Amarone red wine casks and bespoke ‘Kintsugi’ casks. The latter were crafted specifically for this limited edition including both Japanese Mizunara oak from Hokkaido and Scottish Tay oak from an upcycled tree found on the banks of the River Tay – both clear nods to the heritage of each Luminary.
Mucciola then housed the Collectible in a contemporary case that skilfully pays homage to his mentor’s sculpture design with animated geometric particles patterned over the case.
A limited run of 15,000 bottles will be available for purchase from the finest luxury retailers worldwide, for £250 per bottle.
Spirit of the age
Each of the luminaries marry tradition with innovation, and it is that ethos that has helped The Dalmore become the fastest growing single malt whisky worldwide. Its enviable record at auction also sees it regularly ranked in the top three whiskies to invest in.
Whether you’re drinking at 40,000 feet in an Emirates First Class cabin or onboard Queen Mary II of Cunard or simply at home in front of a roaring fire, it is undeniably one of the most refined whiskies on the market.
The Dalmore is available worldwide in some of the world’s finest outlets – from Harrods of London to Galleries La Fayette of Paris, from Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles to the Shangri-La in Shanghai.
If you want a proper pilgrimage, then you’ll need to head to The Dalmore’s distillery in Alness, north of Inverness. Just make sure you stop off at the V&A Dundee first.