The Dalmore launches Luminary No. 2

The Dalmore launches Luminary No. 2

The two-part luxury collection is the second of three planned releases in the Highland distillery's creative partnership with V&A Dundee


Pictured: The Dalmore Luminary – The Collectible 2024 Edition

News | 25 Mar 2024 | By Gavin Smith

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The Dalmore has released the second in its three-part series of exclusive Luminary collaborations with V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum.


The relationship between the Highland single malt and V&A Dundee begin in 2020, and the following year, Dalmore donated £100,000 to the museum after Sotheby's record sale of the one-of-one Decades No. 6 Collection.


Luminary is a three-part series, with each element crafted in collaboration with luminaries from the worlds of whisky and architectural design. The result is a collection of rare and limited-edition single malts that push the boundaries of craftsmanship and innovation.


The first Luminary whisky and sculpture partnership came to fruition in 2022 (see for details), and this month has seen its second iteration, with a limited edition of The Dalmore Luminary – The Collectible, aged for 16 years, and just three bottles of the 49-year-old The Dalmore Luminary – The Rare.

Dalmore Luminary – The Rare 2024 Edition, with a glass sculpture designed by Melodie Leung

In the spirit of creative collaboration that lies at the heart of the Luminary project, an exquisite glass sculpture has been produced by Melodie Leung, director at the design studio Zaha Hadid Architects, while the accompanying whiskies are the work of Dalmore master whisky maker Gregg Glass and master distiller Richard Paterson OBE.


Gregg Glass declares, “It’s been truly inspiring to work on, and great collaboration is all about trust. This was a true meeting of minds, and the new releases beautifully express the shared journey we’ve all been on. While crafting our two new whiskies, we used the technique of time — nurtured carefully to transform through blending — to elevate The Dalmore to a new level. Flavour, colour, and form meet together in a holistic sensory experience with swirls of texture, depth, complexity and nuance.”


Glass and Paterson visited Dalmore distillery with Melodie Leung, where she experienced whisky making for the first time and was invited to step into a maturation warehouse and take in the atmosphere. The first cask to be opened had previously contained port, and Leung likened the aromas to those of roasted chestnuts being sold on the streets of Hong Kong, where she spent time as a child.


Paterson notes, “You have to get somebody who will open up, and Melodie has done that. We asked her about her life, her family, and her memories. The whisky was built upon Melodie’s personality. The project took two and a half years and we created nearly 300 prototypes along the way.”

Melodie Leung and Gregg Glass toast a sample of Dalmore whisky

Melodie Leung says, “You bring your entire self to the project. We learnt so much about each other’s crafts, and though we came from very different worlds, we connected straight away. Experiencing The Dalmore’s outstanding craftsmanship first-hand and being initiated into the complex world of whisky making by Gregg and Richard provided extremely fertile ground for design inspiration.


“The sculpture we created for The Rare was inspired by our fascinating discussions around the interaction and flow of flavour notes in the whisky-making process. It mirrors the multiple layers of ageing and blending that went into creating this whisky.”


The sculpture in question was created from glass, giving a sense of transparency but also depth, capturing the sense of colour and motion as whisky is swirled in a glass. As Melodie Leung explains, “We had an anxiety-filled four months while it was in the kiln, turning it down one degree each day. Would it crack? It was about taking the glass beyond what it is used to do. The tension. It was about working with complex curvature, and I’m really excited about the sculpture we created. A lot of hands went into making it.” In a process that took more than 500 hours, the sculpture was finally fine-polished by hand to achieve the desired ‘liquid’ texture and gloss finish.



The whiskies


The Dalmore Luminary – The Collectible 2024 Edition, 16 years old

48.6% ABV, natural colour, and non-chill filtered. 20,000 bottles. Initially matured in bourbon casks and finished in a mix of Graham’s tawny port pipes and Apostoles sherry casks, with 0.5 per cent peated Dalmore from refill bourbon casks.

Nose: Chocolate orange, honey, crème brûlée, subtle herbal smoke, worn leather, and tropical fruits.

Palate: Luscious Jaffa orange, nutmeg, figs, pâte sucrée, and creamy coffee.

Finish: Nutty, with mango, dark chocolate, and oak spice. Medium in length.


The Dalmore Luminary – The Rare 2024 Edition, 49 years old

40.6% ABV, natural colour, and non-chill filtered. Matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in a blend of 1963 Colheita port, Apostoles sherry, and select bourbon casks, with the assemblage spending several months in a unique 1951 new oak hybrid cask, air-dried at Dalmore distillery and hand-toasted by Gregg Glass.

Nose: Vanilla, mulberries, roasted chestnuts, orange peel, and cinnamon.

Palate: Dates, damsons, cassis, and soft baking spices.

Finish: Almonds, dark chocolate, Java coffee, and a hint of wood smoke. Lengthy.


The Dalmore Luminary – The Rare 2024 Edition, housed in Melodie Leung’s sculpture, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in May 2024, with all proceeds donated to V&A Dundee. A second complete set will be held at Dalmore distillery, and one decanter will be saved for a final Luminary Series Compendium Edition No. 1, 2, and 3. The Dalmore Luminary – The Collectible 2024 Edition will be available at specialist retailers globally from 2 April 2024.

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