Fine Art Asia Puts Antique Whisky In The Frame

At the end of September, antique whisky will, for the first time ever, be exhibited alongside ancient and contemporary art from across the globe, giving recognition to vintage whisky as a branch of fine art in its own right. As part of this historic first appearance for whisky at Fine Art Asia 2017, rare and old whisky specialists Cask 88 are due to launch two new independent bottlings, bringing together the work of Scottish master distillers with that of Scottish and international fine artists.

Vintage spirits fans will have two pieces of whisky history for their collections, both of which represent a marriage of fine Scottish whisky production with Scottish art and craftsmanship, as part of a project designed to celebrate the whisky industry’s most valuable resource: time. Firstly, an extremely exclusive Glenfiddich 53 year old 1964 (ABV 46%, first fill sherry cask), bottled in a Hamilton & Inches crystal decanter with a sterling silver stag’s head stopper, pays homage to the Glenfiddich signature bottling style. Only 96 of these have been produced.

Secondly, a Ben Nevis 45 year old 1972 (ABV 42%) is the product of a unique artistic collaboration involving Edinburgh College of Art graduate Paul Charlton, Inverness-based small business Darach Gifts and Spanish master glassmakers, the Gordiola family. The whisky is presented in a hand-blown bottle, housed in a bespoke copper-fronted wooden box, made from vintage oak whisky barrels. Only 228 bottles of the Ben Nevis bottling will be available; consumers can choose from one of four designs, with each product made to order.

These independent bottlings will be the first to be exhibited alongside ancient and contemporary art from across the globe, and therefore the first pieces of antique whisky to be recognised as fine art. Cask 88 Director Patrick Costello said, “The craftsmanship involved in these projects, from the dedication and skill of the master distillers at Glenfiddich and Ben Nevis, to the undeniable expertise of Paul Charlton, Hamilton & Inches, Gordiola and Darach, has truly elevated vintage whisky into the realm of fine art.”

A selection of rare Macallan, Glendronach, Bowmore, Port Ellen and Brora bottles will also be available for immediate sale at the stand. Casks are represented with Macallan 1990, Longmorn 1988, Glenfarclas 1989, Auchentoshan 1989, Dufftown 1987 and North British 1988, among others. Samples will be available at the fair. Information on how to purchase these rare bottles and casks can be found on the Cask 88 website,

“We at Cask 88, as the home for rare and old whisky, consider it our responsibility to nurture bold craftsmanship in the industry, and this extends beyond whisky production to the presentation of our bottlings,” said Patrick Costello. “These independent bottlings are a fine example of what can be achieved by anyone who comes to us seeking to bottle their own cask of whisky.”

Cask 88 support clients in bottling their own whisky, from selecting and buying a cask, maturing the whisky, through to bottling, labelling and branding. By leveraging an international network of whisky industry professionals, fine artists and craftsmen, they aim to help clients make a reality of their creative vision.

Cask 88 has relationships with the most desirable and sought-after distilleries that have their own world-class brands. They have sold casks with fill-dates ranging from 1964 to 2012 and offer casks from over 40 distilleries across all major regions. Whether seeking to complete a personal collection or to fulfil a commercially driven project, those interested in pursuing their own independent bottling project should visit the Cask 88 website for more information. Both independent bottlings will be available first to attendees of Fine Art Asia, then listed on the Cask 88 website after the fair. Prices are available on request.

Tasting Notes

Glenfiddich 53 year old – This very special Glenfiddich has spent over half a century in a first fill sherry cask. Over this time, the spirit has taken on the flavour and character of the cask to develop an incredibly complex nose: sweet vanilla spice, parma violets, toffee apples and dried fruit, with a touch of black pepper. Having aged in a sherry cask, the palate is delightfully sweet and creamy, delivering warming notes of red fruits, malt, honey, truffle and toffee brittle. The finish is as you would expect for a whisky with such a lengthy maturation – a long finish, spicy with hints of chocolate.

Ben Nevis 45 year old – A sweet and nutty nose, accompanied by notes of dark fruit and cherry, is a complex and welcome introduction to this venerable Ben Nevis whisky, which boasts four and a half decades of maturation. The sherry cask finish is evident on the palate, where we’re met with citrus fruits and dark chocolate, followed by a distinctive mix of tobacco leaves, dried herbs and milk chocolate with a touch of oak. The finish is long with a bitter dryness, offering dark chocolate, sweet tobacco and cherries with cinnamon, reminding us of its significant time spent in oak.

Source: miriamrune



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