Food & Drink Lifestyle

Rare Single Malt Whisky From the Dalmore Distillery Goes Under the Hammer at Sotheby’s Next Week

One of only three bottles to be created, Luminary no. 1 The Rare has been co-conceived by the Luminaries – the V&A’s Kengo Kuma and Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE. The auction opened for online bidding at the beginning of this month and runs until the 16th of November.

The Luminary No.1 The Rare

Launched in September 2022, the 48-Year-Old Single Malt whisky is contained in a striking sculpture designed by architect Kengo Kuma. It comprises 48 hand-crafted diamond-shaped particles of Scottish Oak, Japanese Oak and polished metal, mirroring the number of years Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE nurtured the whisky and representing the point of convergence between the complex skills of design and whisky-making. One of the complete editions (whisky bottle and sculpture) will be held at Dalmore’s Highland home. And the second is available to purchase via auction (read more here).

On sale at Sotheby’s

The hammer will fall at Sotheby’s in London on the 16th of November, with the edition estimated to achieve £95,000-180,000 – some of which will be donated to the V&A Dundee. The auction house was a perfect choice; Sotheby’s was established in 1744 as a premier destination for art and ownership of exceptional luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels. The sale is part of an ongoing creative collaboration between Kuma and Paterson, which began two years ago; last year The Dalmore pledged £100,000 to V&A Dundee from Sotheby’s record sale of the extremely rare Decades No.6 Collection at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.

“Working with The Dalmore always brings new surprises as their creativity seemingly knows no bounds. 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.”

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Head of Whisky & Spirits, North America and EMEA

The embodiment of a lifetime pursuit of excellence

Kuma’s original proof of the sculpture and replica bottle was unveiled at a special event held at V&A Dundee in October, attended by the “Luminaries” themselves. It can now be seen on public display, while the third and final bottle will be released at some point in the future, as part of a compendium of the series. Kuma’s sculpture highlights the architect’s signature gentle interrogation and intimate understanding of natural materials and negative space; metal and wood frame the decanter at its centre and oak diamonds mingle with light reflected from the shiny metal particles to achieve a sense of balance and harmony (a reference to the art of the Master Distillers who create such 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.

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. 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 glorifier design echoes this sensibility, inviting all who see it to consider the elements, seen and unseen, that have gone into its conception.

Kengo Kuma

Tasting Notes – Luminary No.1 – 2022 Edition – Rare Aged 48 Years

An immensely rare and valuable whisky hand nurtured by Master Distiller Richard Paterson for 48 years. The
Luminary No.1 Rare is 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.

The Aroma: Many 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.
40.8% ABV | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Colour

A Relentless Pursuit Of Excellence

There’s still time to bid on this immensely rare collector’s piece. The Dalmore 48-Year-Old Luminary No. 1 Rare is currently up for auction at Sotheby’s (closing on the 16th of November) with a guide price of between 95,000 – 180,000 GBP.

Full details of the Luminary Series can be found on The Dalmore website and here.