Just for Christmas one more overview of whisky bottles with its relevant packaging. Some very exclusives you will not find in the shops, but are worth a look at in terms of packaging technology.
Royal Salute pays homage to the exceptional
Scotch whisky Royal Salute has crafted a blend – Tribute to Honour – to pay homage to the oldest crown jewels of the British Isles: The Honours of Scotland. The narrative of the Honours comprises glorious legends and intrigue and remains a powerful and inscrutable ode to Scottish history.
Royal Salute Tribute to Honour marks a historical pinnacle in whisky making.
The most exquisite, precious and scarce whiskies are used to create Tribute To Honour, from which just 21 bottles have been created by master blender Colin Scott. Fittingly, the whisky is presented in a spectacular bejewelled bottle.
Once a design was settled upon, each bottle was painstakingly dressed by the world’s oldest jeweller to royalty Garrard with more than 22 carats of flawless black and white diamonds (413 diamonds in total) and shimmering gold.
The diamonds were handset individually in gold and silver – with a design that depicts the three symbols of Scottish power – the Sceptre, the Sword and the Crown. Golden lions sit either side of the diamond encrusted sword.
The manufacturing process of the hand cast and opulent black porcelain vessels was a complicated one as aeronautical engineers were consulted so that it would be possible to adorn each one with jewels. French porcelain maker Revol needed to produce 400 bottles to find 21 perfect examples.
Craftsman at Garrard have spent days perfecting each flagon by hand. Each flagon of Royal Salute Tribute to Honour is available since September 2011. The bottles are individually numbered and priced at USD 200,000. One of the 21 bottles will be kept in the Royal Salute Vault.
The Dalmore presents its ‘most heavenly’ limited edition
Located in the Scottish highland town of Alness, The Dalmore distillery is renowned for housing some of the oldest and rarest single malt whiskies. End of last year it launched the Dalmore Trinitas 64, the world’s most expensive whisky, with only three bottles available, of which two have already been sold to private collectors.
The Trinitas 64 is a unique combination of spirits from the 1868, 1878, 1926 and 1939 vintages topped up with a vintage from the 1940s. The packaging of the Dalmore Trinitas 64 reflects the brand’s aristocratic heritage and positions the whisky alongside the world’s most luxurious goods.
Three handcrafted crystal decanters were commissioned to house the rare whisky. These were made using hand-blown crystal of class-leading quality. The decanters are dressed with The Dalmore’s iconic royal stag’s head, an engraved neck foil and the master distiller’s signature, which were all hand made in sterling silver by award-winning jewellers.
The superbly crafted stopper comprises a rich dark timber, silver finishing and at its core a natural cork body – the top-of-the-line ‘Prestige’ cork from Corticeira Amorim’s Top Series range.
The bottle is presented in a cabinet that took over 100 man-hours to make. Shaped by highly skilled craftsmen, the cabinet is made from English oak encased in a Macassar ebony veneer. It has a hidden drawer to hold the authenticity paperwork and the key to a unique lock created by London’s oldest locksmith Brahma. A scroll tube has been turned out of a solid piece of Macassar ebony and finished by hand with a silver collar in the centre.
Not in your league? You can always buy Dalmore’s 1951 vintage. Dalmore Eos 59 year old single malt is named after the Titan goddess of the dawn who every morning, legend has it, opened the gates of heaven (read the distillery’s warehouse doors).
Selected from the same two sherry casks, Eos is sister to Selene, Dalmore’s highly prized 1951 vintage. Only 20 decanters made from hand-blown Portuguese crystal, hand-cut, silver decorated, and presented in a highly finished steel box inlaid with dark timber. Retail price only USD 25,000.
Glenmorangie Pride 1981
In July 2011 Glenmorangie revealed its Pride 1981, described as the distillery’s most sublime single malt whisky.
Characterised by the longest extra-maturation period of any Glenmorangie, the 28-year-old single malt is available in a limited edition of only 1,000 pieces, presented in a Baccarat crystal decanter and wooden case. Bottled at 56.7%ABV and for a price of £2,500.
The decanter is the work of French designer Laurence Brabant and it is encased in a wooden box, conceived by Dutch furniture designer Wouter Scheublin that glides open to reveal the decanter.
But Glenmorangie has something special for the ‘ordinary’ public too.
Glenmorangie Original, the 10 year old single malt whisky, has been handed a golden look for Christmas.
The packaging, created by design agency ButterflyCannon, changes colour as shoppers walk past and morphs from a bright orange lustre to a golden glow. According to ButterflyCannon, the colour “appears to flip with the variation of light”.
New gift box for Balblair 65
International Beverage Holdings has repackaged its most prestigious single malt whisky, Balblair 1965, in a gift box produced by Dahlinger in Germany.
The challenge was to find a contemporary expression of luxury, rather than traditional materials such as brass and stained wood. The subtly branded black satin wood box with cream leather interior houses a discreet drawer on the base, in which the signed certificate and brand information are placed.
Balblair 1965 retails for only £1,400
Drambuie unveils The Royal Legacy of 1745
New from Drambuie is a super premium malt whisky liqueur, The Royal Legacy of 1745.
The embossed decanter and luxury presentation case ensure shelf standout while the liqueur celebrates the centenary of the first commercial bottling of Drambuie in Edinburgh in 1909 and is an interpretation of the original royal spirit enjoyed by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745.
Each box is individually authenticated with the bottling date, bottle number and signature of the Drambuie master blender. Bottled in 70cl and 75cl, with 46vol%, they retail for USD 230.
Drinks by the Dram Sample Set
And when all this was a bit too expensive, you always can contact the Master of Malt, an online whisky and fine spirits retailer. Recently they launched a set of samples “Drink by the Dram”, where their customers can purchase 3cl samples of whisky at the fraction of the price of a whole bottle.
“Drink by the Dram” is also a great gift idea. Sets put together include Old and Rare whiskies, peaty whiskies and many more. These sets come in their very own (and stylish) Drinks by the Dram packaging.
It is an excellent way to sample new releases from your favourite distilleries and bottlers without the expense of committing to a whole bottle of each before you even tried it.
By the way, the company was the first to stock Glenlivet 70 year old, a single malt bottled this year by Scottish whisky merchant Gordon and MacPhail and launched in March with a price tag of £13,000 for a 70cl decanter or £3,200 for a 20cl miniature. Distilled on the 4 February 1940 during the height of the Battle of Britain, the spirit was filled into a single sherry cask, where it has rested for 70 years.
That was the whisky packaging of this year. Let’s see what next year the whisky distillers have to offer. A bit variation and creativity is welcome, as over the last years, most exclusive whiskies have been presented in similar looking bottles. The introduction of new packaging technologies is welcome. To merge very old whisky with new packaging technologies should be a challenge, but certainly giving a beautiful result.