‘The Dalmore Luminary Series’ launches second chapter with dramatic glass sculpture by Melodie Leung of Zaha Hadid Architects

22 Mar 2024

The collaboration is the second chapter of The Dalmore Luminary Series curated in partnership with V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, which brings together luminaries from the worlds of whisky and architectural design.

The Dalmore Luminary Series, curated in partnership with V&A Dundee, is releasing new masterpieces: a remarkable glass amber sculpture and collectable presentation case housing two new, exceptionally rare Highland Single Malt whiskies. The Dalmore Luminary - The Rare - 2024 Edition will be offered at auction with all proceeds donated to Scotland’s design museum, and The Dalmore Luminary - The Collectible - 2024 Edition will be available at leading luxury and specialist retailers globally from April 2, 2024.

The three-part series celebrates the relentless pursuit of excellence through compelling collaborations between luminaries in whisky mastery and architectural design. The Dalmore Luminary - The Rare - 2024 Edition sees the whisky and its sculptural housing designed by Melodie Leung, Director at Zaha Hadid Architects, together with Gregg Glass, Master Whisky Maker at The Dalmore, and Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE.

Leung and The Dalmore whisky makers have worked side by side to share and examine where their intricate skills and knowledge converge. The result of the close collaboration is two, beautiful new releases that creatively stretch the signature styles of Zaha Hadid Architects and The Dalmore. Both of these promise to delight both whisky and design enthusiasts in a fascinating exploration of the interaction of flavour and form.

The Dalmore Luminary - The Rare - 2024 Edition

  • Only three decanters and two sculptures will ever be made of The Rare, a 49-year-old Old Single Malt from The Dalmore housed in a dynamic, glass amber sculpture designed by Leung and her team at Zaha Hadid Architects.
  • The Dalmore worked closely with Fiaz Elson from The Glass Foundry – one of the few master glass artists with the necessary experience and vision to manipulate glass to the desired form – to combine modern techniques with a centuries-old craft to deliver this unique sculpture.
  • The sculpture was in the kiln at The Glass Foundry for 12 weeks.
  • The initial moulding was made at 890 degrees and held at that temperature for 15 hours to ensure all moisture and air bubbles were released. The temperature was then gradually lowered by approximately one degree per day until it was at room temperature. After this proving period, it was lifted carefully from the kiln, weighing in at 80 kilograms.
  • In a process that took over 500 hours, the sculpture was then fine-polished by hand across the entire surface area to achieve the liquid texture and gloss finish.
  • With an extraordinary maturation and blending process, the 49 Year Old Highland Single Malt offers layers of intense vanilla, dark berry fruit, and cacao aromas, with a palate of freshly roasted chestnuts, blackcurrant, Doyenne pears, and soft patisserie spices leading to a subtle, sweet smoke finish.

One covetable set is expected to attract interest from collectors globally and achieve upwards of six figures when offered at auction through Sotheby’s in May 2024, with all proceeds donated to V&A Dundee.

The Dalmore Luminary - The Collectible - 2024 Edition

  • Whisky enthusiasts can also discover a one-of-a-kind expression from The Dalmore through The Collectible, which features a small amount of exceptionally rare peated Dalmore spirit.
  • The bottle is housed in a presentation case that echoes the glowing, swirling design of The Rare sculpture.
  • Beginning April 2, 2024, 20,000 sets will be available at a recommended retail price of USD 350 at select luxury and specialist retailers worldwide, as well as global travel retail.

The carefully crafted elements of The Dalmore Luminary – 2024 Edition were conceived entirely collaboratively, with Glass, Paterson, and Leung working symbiotically to bring the whiskies to life.

Glass says: “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. We are delighted to finally be sharing these special whiskies with the world."

Adds Leung: “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, which is the exquisite product of nature channelled over time."

The Rare and The Collectible are covetable additions to any serious collection and reflect the shared commitment of The Dalmore, V&A Dundee, and Leung to champion exceptional design and innovation on a global scale. All proceeds from the Sotheby’s sale of The Rare will be donated to V&A Dundee in support of its important mission to inspire and empower through design.

The Dalmore, Zaha Hadid Architects, and V&A Dundee have combined forces and included the architectural practice in an exciting new exhibition opening at V&A Dundee on Friday, March 29thPhoto City: How Images Shape the Urban World – see Editors Notes.

Notes to editors

The Dalmore Luminary – The Rare - 2024 Edition Glass Sculpture

  • In addition to the set offered at auction at Sotheby’s, a second complete set will be held at the distillery’s Highland home, and one further decanter will be saved for a final Luminary Series Compendium Edition No. 1, 2 and 3.
  • Two designer proofs will also go on display at V&A Dundee and Zaha Hadid Architects. 


New Exhibition at V&A Dundee - co-curated with the V&A to feature ZHA - Photo City: How Images Shape the Urban World (opens 29 March 2024, free)

Photo City brings together iconic images from the V&A’s spectacular photography collections, as well as works by contemporary photographers, architects, and digital artists to explore how photography and cities have influenced each other.

ZHA has works held at the V&A South Kensington, and now V&A Dundee has included the architectural practice in a new exhibition opening at V&A Dundee on Friday, March 29th.

Supported by The Dalmore, the exhibition will be open to the public until October 27th to celebrate Dundee’s Decade of Design, the 10th anniversary of Dundee’s designation as the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design.

The exhibition explores how photographs are powerful tools that not only document the city but also help to project and design future cities and new ways of living together. The exhibition also expands on the idea of what photography is by including contemporary imaging technologies such as GPS, drones, gaming technology, and lidar scanning.