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The Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Rare 49 Year Old Sells For $117,400

The Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Rare 49 Year Old sold on May 31st at Sotheby’s London. Credit: Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s London saw The Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Rare 49 Year Old go under the hammer in May 2024. On May 31st it was announced that the rare whisky and accompanying sculpture by Melodie Leung sell for $117,400 (£93,750)

The Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Rare 49 Year Old is part of the second installment of the Dalmore Luminary Series – a three-part collaboration between the luxury Highland distillery and V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum. The Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Collectible 16 Year Old comprises the other part of the release. This particular bottling was released to the public in limited numbers. 

In keeping with the first Luminary release in 2022, only three decanters of No.2 The Rare have been crafted. Of the two that remain following the Sotheby’s sale, The Dalmore will keep one for a special Luminary Compendium and one will be put on display at the V&A Dundee Museum. 

As part of the collaboration, The Dalmore will donate all proceeds from the £75,000 hammer price (ex. Sotheby’s buyer’s commission) to V&A Dundee. The proceeds will fund V&A Dundee’s mission to “inspire and empower, through design.” 

The Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Rare 49 Year Old 

Credit: Sotheby’s

The Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Rare 49 Year Old comprises a scotch whisky initially matured in American white oak ex-bourbon prior to a very special finishing period. The whisky was finished “with an unparalleled combination of rare Port Colheita 1963, 30 year old Apostoles sherry and select Bourbon, then completed in a 1951 virgin oak hybrid cask, which was air-dried and hand-toasted by [Dalmore Master Whisky Maker] Gregg Glass himself.” 

Melodie Leung of Zaha Hadid Architects designed the meticulous glass sculpture used to house the whisky. Leung took inspiration for the sweeping sculpture from the multi-layered and complex whisky-making process. The gliding lines also evoke images of the amber whisky inside the decanter. Taking Fiaz Elson from The Glass Foundry 12 weeks to kiln and 500 hours to hand polish, the sculpture represents the pinnacle of glasswork. 

A Luminous Collaboration 

Various ‘luminaries’ in their respective fields came together to create the Dalmore Luminary No.2 The Rare, as well as the experts at Sotheby’s that helped to facilitate this sale. 

Melodie Leung, the designer of the glass sculpture, commented: “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.”

Global Head of Spirits at Sotheby’s, Jonny Fowle, added: “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.”

And finally, Chief Marketing Officer of Whyte & Mackay (owner of The Dalmore), Steven Pearson 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.”

Interested in learning more about The Dalmore Luminary series? Find out everything you need to know here. Additionally, read The Whiskey Wash’s reviews of The Rare here, and The Collectible, here

Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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