Only 60 bottles of this Dalmore whisky will be sold in PH 2
The Dalmore Luminary No. 1 Collectible features whisky by Gregg Glass and box by Maurizzio Mucciola. Jeeves de Veyra . Jeeves de Veyra
Food & Drink

Only 60 bottles of this special Dalmore whisky will be sold in PH

For the discerning Dalmore drinker, only 60 bottles of the Dalmore Luminary No. 1 will be available in the Philippines.
Jeeves de Veyra | Jan 03 2024

Premium highland single malt distillery Dalmore shines a light on the worlds of architecture and whisky with its Luminary series.

For The Luminary No. 1 2022 Edition, the first in this limited release, Dalmore master distiller Richard Patterson and whisky maker Gregg Glass partnered with Kengo Kuma and protege Maurizzio Mucciola, the architects behind Scotland’s design museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum in Dundee.

This comes in two editions. The Rare, a 48-year old whisky created in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, then aged in Matusalem and Apostle Oloroso sherry casks and vintage Port pipe, and finished in both Scottish tay and Japanese oak. These bottles, of which there are only three in the world, are encased in Kuma’s 48 handcrafted steel with Japanese oak and Scottish tay oak particles. One was on display at the V&A Dundee Museum for a time then was sold at Sotheby’s for £118,750 with a portion of the proceeds going to V&A Dundee; another is on display at The Dalmore Scottish whisky with the first expression in its Luminary collection; and the last is being saved for a complete compendium release of the expressions to come.

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Dalmore recently held a guided whisky tasting of its core line with Dalmore Luminary No. 1 Collectible as the grand finale. Jeeves de Veyra

For everyone else, there is the Luminary No. 1 Collectible, of which only 60 bottles will be available in the Philippines. This boasts Glass’ whisky and Mucciola’s design for the box and the packaging.

To show how special the whisky is Dalmore’s whisky expert for the Asian region George Schulze led a select group through a guided tasting of whisky from Dalmore’s core line with Dalmore Luminary No. 1 Collectible as the grand finale.

Unlike other very popular whisky brands, this single malt is a Highland scotch. Compared to the light fruity toffee notes of Speysides, whiskies from this region are more full bodied and have notes of dark chocolate and coffee.

Chewing the whisky

In a past life, Schulze was a theater actor and he brought his animated storytelling skills to this whisky session. It’s the first time I’ve seen a whisky expert use gestures to help drinkers understand the proper way to taste whisky, which is to initially let it slip on the tongue, “chew” the whisky as it rolls around the mouth, and then gently swallow to enjoy the finish. 

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Dalmore whisky expert George Schulze shows off the Dalmore Luminary No. 1 Collectible. Jeeves de Veyra

He started the group out with The Dalmore 12-year-old. This was a surprise as I remembered it to be quite rough when I first had it. This time, perhaps because of Schulze’s guidance, I found this to be much friendlier, as I enjoyed that fuller body and chocolate notes.

It’s no surprise that the 15-year-old is a favorite among Dalmore drinkers. The liquid was rich dark amber and it was pleasantly spicy to go along with the core notes. It is a complex whisky, though familiar enough as a daily drink.

Then there was the Luminary No. 1. Schulze wisely had us sip this after the 15-year-old. The Luminary No. 1 is also a 15-year-old made with special kintsugi casks. 

When held up to the light, the Luminary No. 1 is... well, light. Much lighter than the 12- and 15-year-old.

I thought that the lighter color was a result of being aged in virgin “kintsugi” casks that were inspired by the Japanese way of fixing broken ceramics. In the case of whisky casks, these were made by combining virgin staves from 200-year-old windblown Scottish tay oak, Japanese mizunara oak, and American oak which contribute sweetness, spice, and full bodied flavors of this whisky. 

I perked up when Schulze mentioned that the Luminary No. 1 Collectible was finished in Italian amarone casks for two years. One of my best sips ever was an amarone cask-finished whisky which was like drinking Black Forest in a whisky.

Even if the Luminary No. 1 looks lighter, that lightness definitely doesn’t translate to the nose and to the palate. With one whiff, the 48% ABV is instantly apparent with a much bolder punchier nose with honey, almond and fruity notes than the other whiskies in Schulze’s line-up. That intensity makes it into the sip where the Dalmore DNA of full-bodied dark chocolate blended with figs and ginger cake, with that amarone cherry note making its way into the long lingering finish.

In the end, I thought that the Dalmore Luminary No. 1 Collectible was unique in the way that complexity and intensity hid behind that light amber color. What was seen was a lot different from what was sniffed, and what was tasted. It certainly makes for a shiny addition to a whisky lover’s top shelf.

For the discerning Dalmore drinker, only 60 bottles of the Dalmore Luminary No. 1 will be available in the Philippines, some of which will be available at the Dalmore booth at the men’s section of the Rustan’s Department Store.