Whisky Focus - The Dalmore Luminary No.2 'The Rare' Sells for £93,750

The Dalmore Luminary No.2 'The Rare' Sells for £93,750

4th June 2024
An exceptionally rare 49 Year Old single malt whisky from The Dalmore, encased in a unique glass sculpture designed in collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects, has sold for £93,750 ($117,400). The Dalmore will donate all proceeds to V&A Dundee.

The Dalmore Luminary No2 49 Year Old 'The Rare'

On Friday, 31st May, a decanter of 49-Year-Old Single Malt from The Dalmore Distillery, housed in a unique glass sculpture co-created by Melodie Leung of Zaha Hadid Architects, was sold at Sotheby's for £93,750 ($117,400).

The Dalmore Luminary No.2 ‘The Rare’ is the second release in The Luminary Series, a unique three-part collaboration between The Dalmore and V&A Dundee. Melodie Leung, a distinguished talent and creative collaborator, played a key role in this exceptional release.

The Dalmore will donate the entire £75,000 hammer price from the sale to V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, to support its mission to inspire and empower through design.

Since 2020, V&A Dundee and The Dalmore have closely partnered. The Dalmore's support, including a donation from Luminary No.1, has enabled V&A Dundee to reach more people with engaging exhibitions and activities that enhance creative opportunities and accessibility. This includes the current major free exhibition, "Photo City: How Images Shape the Urban World," running until 29th October 2024.

Luminary No.2 ‘The Rare’ features a 49-Year-Old Highland Single Malt, one of only three bottles ever made, housed in a striking glass sculpture. Designed by Leung and crafted from a continuous piece of glass, the sculpture depicts the layers of age and flavour interactions in whisky making.

Creating the glass sculpture was a high-risk process, taking hundreds of hours. Fiaz Elson from The Glass Foundry combined modern techniques with centuries-old craft, placing the glass in a kiln in a handmade mould and meticulously lowering the temperature over a tense 12-week period. The 80kg sculpture's liquid-like texture and gloss finish result from over 500 hours of hand polishing.

‘The Rare’ whisky was crafted in collaboration between Leung and The Dalmore’s master whisky makers, Gregg Glass and Richard Paterson OBE. It was matured in American white oak ex-Bourbon casks and finished in a blend of a rare Port Colheita Pipe 1963, an exceptionally rare 30-Year-Old Apostoles Sherry Cask, and select Bourbon Barrels. The whisky underwent further finishing in a unique 1951/Virgin oak hybrid cask, air-dried at The Dalmore and hand-toasted by Gregg Glass.

Only three bottles and two sculptures will ever be created. Besides the set sold at Sotheby’s auction, a second complete set will be archived at the distillery’s Highland home, and one final decanter will be reserved for a future Luminary Series Compendium, which will include all three releases.

Leonie Bell, Director of V&A Dundee, said: "The Dalmore and V&A Dundee partnership is ambitious. It brings our worlds of design, whisky, internationalism, innovation, and a deep commitment to celebrate Scotland’s unique icons, landscapes and crafts together. The Dalmore are generously donating the entire proceeds from the auction of the unique sculpture and decanter. This collaboration is invaluable to V&A Dundee and supports our work to generate joy, spark curiosity and to deepen our social impact through design."

Melodie Leung, Luminary No.2, said: "Creating both the sculpture and whiskies with Gregg and Richard for the second edition of The Dalmore’s Luminary Series was a truly fascinating collaboration. I am delighted that collectively we’re supporting the V&A Dundee in their invaluable work inspiring the next generation of designers."

Steven Pearson, Chief Marketing Officer of Whyte & Mackay, said: "The Luminary series offers The Dalmore the unique opportunity to not only support our long-standing partner V&A Dundee, but to collaborate with leading architectural figures to combine the art of whisky making and design, resulting in the creation of both a whisky and sculpture, that is not only exceptionally rare, but interesting and rich in story.

"Watching The Dalmore’s Master Whisky Makers, Gregg Glass and Richard Paterson OBE, work with the incredibly talented Melodie Leung was a sight to behold. It was remarkable to see the development of a whisky, through the eyes of an architect and watch the sculpture take shape, with Gregg and Richard’s influences incorporated. Luminary No.2 has been a true partnership between Melodie, Gregg and Richard and this project will have an everlasting influence on our design philosophy."

Jonny Fowle, Global Head of Spirits, Sotheby’s, said: "This is a thoroughly deserved result for a true collector’s piece that combines to brilliant effect a highly aged liquid, a high concept design and a worthy cause. The Dalmore is an icon of the whisky world and this second iteration in their Luminary series encapsulates all the key elements collectors are looking for in today’s premium whisky market."

You will find The Dalmore Luminary 16 Year Old 'The Collectible' 2024 Edition available f
rom April 2nd from specialist online whisky shops such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

The Dalmore Luminary – The Rare - 2024 Edition Review

The 49 Year Old was matured in American White Oak ex-Bourbon casks and finished in a blend of Port Colheita 1963, Apostoles sherry, select Bourbon and unique hybrid casks, hand crafted and toasted at The Dalmore by Glass himself. Bottled at 40.6% ABV.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Madagascan vanilla, rich dark berry fruits, cinnamon and dark cacao.

Taste: Freshly roasted chestnuts, blackcurrant, Doyenné pears, and soft patisserie spices.

Finish: Sugared almonds, plums, roasted Colombian coffee with lifts to a subtle sweet wood smoke.

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