The Dalmore’s Rare Whisky Auction Raises £75,000 for V&A Dundee

By | 4 June 2024

A 49-year-old Dalmore single malt Scotch whisky, encased in a singular glass artwork by Zaha Hadid Architects, was auctioned for £93,500 at Sotheby’s. The entire £75,000 hammer price will be contributed to the Victoria & Albert (V&A) design museum in Dundee, supported by the Dalmore’s four-year collaboration with V&A Dundee started in 2020 to honor ‘design, creativity, and vision’.

Dundee, recognized as the UK’s first ‘city of design’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) in 2014, houses the only V&A museum branch outside of London.

The city of Dundee, historically noted for ‘jute, jam, and journalism’, has in modern times emerged as a hub for the UK’s computer game design industry.

V&A Dundee was inaugurated in 2018 as the focal point of a £1bn redevelopment project of the city’s waterfront. In conjunction with this event, The Dalmore introduced ‘The Luminary Series’, scheduled to be unveiled in three phases, each containing two whisky variants named ‘The Rare’ and ‘The Collectable’.

The initial release – crafted by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is credited with designing the building of V&A Dundee, and his mentee, Maurizio Mucciola – was launched in 2022, with the whisky of this year constituting the second edition.

The 49-year-old Highland single malt featured in The Luminary No 2 ‘The Rare’ was aged in ex-bourbon barrels made from American white oak. The whisky was subsequently distributed among a 1963 colheita Port pipe, a 30-year-old Apostoles Sherry cask, and an assortment of bourbon barrels for further maturation.

These components were then reassembled in a 1951 virgin oak hybrid carthcy, which was air-dried at The Dalmore and hand-toasted by Gregg Glass, the master whisky maker of the distillery.

Glass expert Richard ‘The Nose’ Paterson collaborated with Melodie Leung, a director at Zaha Hadid Architects, to create The Luminary No 2. Leung designed the artistic sculpture which was crafted by renowned glass blower Fiaz Elson.

Only three bottles of this exclusive whisky were produced. One was auctioned, another will be retained in The Dalmore’s library, and the third is set to be sold with the remainder of the whiskies in The Luminary Series following the release of the third batch.

“The partnership between The Dalmore and V&A Dundee is a bold endeavor, merging the realms of design, whisky, internationalism, innovation, while celebrating the distinctive elements of Scotland’s icons, landscapes, and craftsmanship,” stated Leonie Bell, the director of V&A Dundee.

“This collaborative effort is tremendously beneficial for V&A Dundee, aiding in our mission to inspire joy, ignite curiosity, and amplify our social impact through design,” she added.

Jonny Fowles of Sotheby’s, the leader in global spirits, commented: “This is a well-earned outcome for a genuine collector’s item that masterfully merges an aged spirit, an inspired design, and a significant cause.”

“The Dalmore stands as a pinnacle in the whisky domain, and this second release in its Luminary collection highlights all the essential attributes that collectors seek in the current high-end whisky market.”

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