A rare, limited-edition, striking Dalmore to be auctioned at Sotheby’s

Launched in September as part of a unique partnership between The Dalmore and V&A Dundee, The Luminary No.1 The Rare comprises a 48-Year-Old Single Malt whisky housed in a striking sculpture designed by Kengo Kuma, the museum’s globally acclaimed architect.

Dalmore Rare whiskey auction Sotheby's

October 27, 2022: Made of 48 hand-crafted diamond-shaped particles of Scottish Oak, Japanese Oak and polished metal to represent the number of years the whisky was nurtured by Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE, The Luminary No.1 The Rare originated from a quest to discover a point of convergence between the complex skills of design and whisky-making. 

Kengo Kuma, the only architect named in the prestigious TIME 100 in 2021, and Richard Paterson, awarded an OBE in the 2021 New Year's Honours List for his services to whisky, together bring more than six decades of experience to Dalmore’s Rare.
Only three bottles and two sculptures have been created. One of these complete editions will be held at the distillery's Highland home; the second is destined for auction at Sotheby's in London on November 16, with an estimate of £95,000-180,000, and bidding online from November 1. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to V&A Dundee. The third bottle will be released as part of a compendium release of the series in the years to come.

Dalmore Rare whiskey auction Sotheby's

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Head of Whisky & Spirits, North America and EMEA, said: “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.”

Mr. Kuma's sculpture highlights the architect's signature gentle interrogation and intimate understanding of natural materials and negative space, using metal and wood to frame the decanter at its centre. The oak diamonds mingle with light reflected from the shiny metal particles to achieve a sense of balance and harmony. 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.

The sale will mark another milestone in the ongoing creative collaboration between Mr. Kuma and Mr. Paterson, which began in 2020 alongside announcing a four-year partnership with the museum to showcase and nurture exceptional design and craftsmanship. In 2021, The Dalmore donated £100,000 to V&A Dundee from Sotheby's record sale of the one-of-one, exceedingly rare Decades No.6 Collection at Sotheby's in Hong Kong.  

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