Create The Luminary Series in World-First Collaboration

A unique series of limited edition Rare and Collectible whiskies created by luminaries from the worlds of whisky and design

Luminary No.1, 2022 Edition, Launches the Series with Rare and Collectible Single Malt Whiskies conceived with the Museum’s Globally Acclaimed Architect Kengo Kuma and his Protégé Maurizio Mucciola

Kengo Kuma’s design is inspired by the invisible particles of nature that shape beauty comprising 48 diamond-shaped pieces and housing the 48-Year-Old Luminary No.1 Rare

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt introduces The Luminary Series ­­– a collection of rare, limited-edition single malts presented by exceptional talent from the worlds of whisky and architectural design, curated in partnership with V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum. This three-year series will tell the stories of visionary artisans honing their craft and celebrate luminaries who inspire us to realise our full potential.

Starting in 2022, the series will see the release of three editions, each containing two Luminary whiskies: The Rare and The Collectible. Each release in the Luminary Series brings visionary design talent to the fore through a bespoke showcase of a unique bottling by The Dalmore’s whisky makers.

The Luminary Series – Luminary No.1, 2022 Edition

The inaugural chapter of the Luminary Series – Luminary No.1, 2022 Edition – showcases the combined skills of two masters and their protégés: internationally acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma and Maurizio Mucciola, the lead architects of V&A Dundee, in collaboration with Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE, and Master Whisky Maker Gregg Glass. The 2022 Edition is an homage to the cultural heritage of these luminaries: shared sanctity for natural materials, deep respect for the creative process, and a commitment to pursuing potential and excellence over a lifetime.

Luminary No.1 – Rare – 2022 Edition

Co-conceived by Kengo Kuma and Richard Paterson OBE, The Rare is a once-in-a-lifetime creative collaboration that unites culture and craft. This seminal and rare 48-Year-Old Single Malt marks a milestone in the ongoing creative collaboration between Kuma and Paterson, which began in 2020 alongside the announcement of a four-year partnership with V&A Dundee.

The Rare, of which only three bottles will be created, is housed in a unique sculpture designed by Kengo Kuma, comprising 48 particles and handcrafted in Japanese Oak, Scottish Oak, and glinting steel. It holds an immensely scarce and valuable whisky that has been hand nurtured by Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE for 48 years and is finished in casks of Scottish Tay Oak and of Japanese Oak air-dried at the distillery for years.

The first of the two sculptures created to display The Rare edition will be sold at Sotheby’s London with a portion of the proceeds donated to V&A Dundee, while the second will be held at the distillery’s Highland home.  The original designer’s proof of the sculpture will be on public display at V&A Dundee from the end of October. 

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 this extraordinary creation. Kuma previously appeared alongside Paterson last year in Decades in the Making, a short film presenting the realisation of this world-first partnership. The work of two industry icons, the Rare truly embodies the pursuit of excellence over a lifetime.

The Luminary No.1 – Collectible – 2022 Edition

In a collaboration between their protégés, the Collectible echoes its Rare partner in design. Gregg Glass created an innovative 15 Year Old Single Malt that spotlights his passion for wood and flavour, which is this Collectible Edition held in a contemporary case designed by Kuma-san’s protégé Maurizio Mucciola.

The Collectible begins its journey in American white oak and finished in hand-selected Italian Amarone Red Wine casks and bespoke ‘Kintsugi’ Casks, which were crafted specifically for this Limited Edition and made from Scottish Tay Oak, sourced from an upcycled tree found on the banks of the River Tay, Japanese Mizunara Oak and American White Oak – as a nod to the heritage of each Luminary. 

Mucciola skilfully pays homage to his mentor’s design vocabulary, using the same animated geometric particles scattered across the case. His design celebrates this unique world-first release and the importance of channeling potential with material components.

The Design Concept

The design of The Dalmore Luminary Series No.1 originates from the quest to discover a point of convergence between the complex skills of design and whisky-making. As Kuma is world-renowned for his innate ability and consistent approach to marry architecture with nature, understanding location is integral in making each project exceptional.

The importance placed on the extensive use of natural materials, especially wood, is Kuma-san’s signature and is reflected in his design of V&A Dundee’s interior. At The Dalmore, the location’s fundamental elements of soil and timber play an intrinsic role in the whisky-making process and in giving its distinctive flavour. Kuma and Mucciola establish a poetic connection between design and whisky-making: highlighting mutually utilised materials, taking inspiration from the power and natural surroundings of each destination, and honouring their friendship with V&A Dundee that brought together the project.

Kuma-san lends his distinctive design identity to exalt this rare bottling with a 48-piece sculpture – inspired by the invisible particles of nature as well as the age of the liquid. The sculpture highlights the architect’s signature gentle integration and intimate understanding of natural materials and negative space, making use of metal alongside wood in a nod to ‘Kintsugi’ artistry, an ancient Japanese art where broken pottery is repaired with gold, to incredible results.

The sculpture of the Rare is made of 48 hand-crafted diamonds of Scottish Oak, Japanese Oak, and polished metal to represent the 48 years of the whisky of Luminary No.1 Rare. The sculpture’s delicate use of wood and light confidently frames the Rare decanter at its centre. The Scottish Oak wood chosen is the same used for the ‘Kintsugi’ casks of the Collectible and further celebrates The Dalmore and V&A Dundee partnership – as before being upcycled for this project the tree had fallen along the banks of the River Tay where both The Dalmore and V&A Dundee sit. It is inspired by how invisible natural forces inspire the visible.

The Scottish and Japanese Oak mingle with light reflected from the shiny metal particles to achieve balance and harmony, drawing parallels to the art of the Master Distillers that create perfectly harmonious whisky flavours.

For the packaging of the Collectible, the design for the Glorifier was reimagined and transformed into a graphic pattern and applied to the packaging. Soft earth tones were chosen to echo the strong connections between nature, the location, and the whisky.

The Dalmore x V&A Dundee Partnership

In a world-first, four-year partnership, The Dalmore, the fastest-growing luxury single malt whisky, and V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, seek to champion and nurture exceptional creative talent. Together, they pledge to cultivate a global platform for contemporary artisans and designers and inspire the next generation of creative thinkers to pursue their potential.

The relationship is embedded in a relentless pursuit of excellence as champions of Scottish culture, and in exporting shared purpose, talent, and stories. The four-year collaboration allows V&A Dundee and The Dalmore to curate and advocate for exceptional design on a global scale and offers crucial support for the design museum. In 2021, The Dalmore donated £100,000 from the record sale of the one-of-one, exceedingly rare Decades No.6 Collection at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in honour of the partnership.

One of the three exquisite bottles and accompanying sculpture of the Luminary No.1 Rare will be available to acquire at auction in November this year, with a portion of the proceeds donated to V&A Dundee. Approximately 15,000 bottles of the Collectible Edition will be made available at an RSP of £250 GBP, for purchase from the finest luxury retailers worldwide including Harrods, Selfridges, and Harvey Nichols.

Quotes From The Luminaries

Kengo Kuma shares, “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.”

Richard Paterson, OBE, says of the release: “It is a pleasure and a privilege to collaborate with Kengo Kuma once again, and to draw inspiration from his rich experience in bringing this new release to life. The Rare is a wonderful celebration of cultural heritage. 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.”

Maurizio Mucciola adds, “Working with and learning from Gregg Glass, sharing our passion for materials and respect for the natural world, shines a light on the importance of craft. This release is inspired by the work we have undertaken with our mentors, and the work we have yet to do – the embodiment of potential realised over time.”

Master Whisky Maker Gregg Glass says, “The Dalmore is constantly innovating, working to unlock the hidden potential in every component of its whisky-making process in order to achieve excellence. The opportunity to create something entirely new has resulted in a masterful liquid that balances tradition with innovation. It beautifully expresses the personal and professional journeys of Maurizio Mucciola and myself, and shows what is so special about true craftsmanship.” 

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