Last month, The Dalmore debuted a collection of rare, limited-edition single malts presented by exceptional talent from the worlds of whisky and architectural design.
Deemed The Luminary Series, the collection marks the start of a world-first four-year partnership with V&A Dundee, the first Victoria and Albert museum outside of London in Dundee, Scotland. Today, Sotheby’s announced that the first release in the collaboration, The Luminary No.1 The Rare, will be available for auction starting November 1 (until November 16).
[The Dalmore’s] creativity seemingly knows no bounds,” shared Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Head of Whisky & Spirits, North America and EMEA, in a statement. “The Luminary is not simply an extremely rare bottle, but one of exceptional quality with an exquisite design lovingly put together by Richard [Paterson] and [Kengo] Kuma.”
There were only three bottles of The Luminary No. 1 released, which were co-conceived by Richard Paterson OBE, The Dalmore’s Master Distiller, and Kengo Kuma, the lead architect behind V&A Dundee who was named as the world’s most influential architect in 2021 by Time Magazine. The collaboration marks the intersection between culture and craft as Kuma designed an ornate sculpture of 48 diamond-shaped elements in Scottish Oak, Japanese Oak and polished metal to reflect the efforts of the 48 year old single malt’s journey; after 48 years it was finished in casks of Scottish Tay Oak and Japanese Oak.
“I am exceedingly proud of this exceptionally scarce single malt which tells a beautiful story of the coming together of disparate parts into a greater whole,” said Paterson in a release, also noting the “pleasure and privilege” of collaborating with Kuma.
“My relationship with The Dalmore, and with Scotland, is one born from a love of natural materials and the unfolding of stories over a lifetime,” said Kuma, whose first project in the U.K. was the V&A Dundee. “In my work with Richard Paterson and The Dalmore, I see a same respect for the environment, and the same careful attention to the way great design must continue to evolve over time. The glorifier design echoes this sensibility, inviting all who see it to consider the elements, seen and unseen, that have gone into its conception.”
The bottle is predicted to sell between £95,000 to £180,000, of which a portion of proceeds will be donated to V&A Dundee. The second bottle and sculpture will be displayed in completion at The Dalmore’s Highland distillery while the third bottle (sans sculpture as only two were designed) will be launched in future years as part of a compendium release.
As part of this series, there will also be a Collectible version released. Aged 15 years in the same Scottish Oak wood used for the sculpture, which was upcycled from a tree that fell along the banks of the River Tay, there will be about 15,000 bottles available for £250.