The Dalmore and V&A Dundee Partner in World-First Collaboration

© Till Britze Photography

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt and V&A Dundee have collaborated to create The Luminary Series: a collection of rare, limited-edition single malts presented by exceptional talent from the worlds of whisky and architectural design.

Starting in 2022, the series will see the release of three editions, each containing two Luminary whiskies: The Rare and The Collectible. Each release in the Luminary Series brings visionary design talent to the fore through a bespoke showcase of a unique bottling by The Dalmore’s whisky makers.

The inaugural chapter of the Luminary Series – Luminary No.1, 2022 Edition – showcases the combined skills of two masters and their protégés: internationally acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma and Maurizio Mucciola, the lead architects of V&A Dundee, in collaboration with Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE, and Master Whisky Maker Gregg Glass. The 2022 Edition is an homage to the cultural heritage of these luminaries: shared sanctity for natural materials, deep respect for the creative process, and a commitment to pursuing potential and excellence over a lifetime.

Luminary No.1 – Rare – 2022 Edition

Co-conceived by Kengo Kuma and Richard Paterson OBE, The Rare is a once-in-a-lifetime creative collaboration that unites culture and craft. This seminal and rare 48 Year Old Single Malt marks a milestone in the ongoing creative collaboration between Kuma and Paterson, which began in 2020 alongside the announcement of a four-year partnership with V&A Dundee.

© Till Britze Photography

The Rare, of which only three bottles will be created, is housed in a unique sculpture designed by Kengo Kuma, comprising 48 particles and handcrafted in Japanese Oak, Scottish Oak and glinting steel. It holds an immensely scarce and valuable whisky that has been hand nurtured by Master Distiller Richard Paterson OBE for 48 years and is finished in casks of Scottish Tay Oak and of Japanese Oak air dried at the distillery for years.

The first of the two sculptures created to display The Rare edition will be sold at Sotheby’s London with a portion of the proceeds donated to V&A Dundee, while the second will be held at the distillery’s Highland home.  The original designer’s proof of the sculpture will be on public display at V&A Dundee from the end of October. 

The Luminary No.1 – Collectible – 2022 Edition

In a collaboration between their protégés, the Collectible echoes its Rare partner in design. Gregg Glass created an innovative 15 Year Old Single Malt that spotlights his passion for wood and flavour, which is this Collectible Edition held in a contemporary case designed by Kuma-san’s protégé Maurizio Mucciola.

© Till Britze Photography

The Collectible begins its journey in American white oak and finished in hand selected Italian Amarone Red Wine casks and bespoke ‘Kintsugi’ Casks, which were crafted specifically for this Limited Edition and made from Scottish Tay Oak, sourced from an upcycled tree found on the banks of the River Tay, Japanese Mizunara Oak and American White Oak – as a nod to the heritage of each Luminary.  

Mucciola skilfully pays homage to his mentor’s design vocabulary, using the same animated geometric particles scattered across the case. His design celebrates this unique world-first release and the importance of channelling potential with material components.


The design of The Dalmore Luminary Series No.1 originates from the quest to discover a point of convergence between the complex skills of design and whisky-making. As Kuma is world-renowned for his innate ability and consistent approach to marry architecture with nature, understanding location is integral in making each project exceptional. 

The importance placed on the extensive use of natural materials, especially wood, is Kuma-san’s signature and is reflected in his design of V&A Dundee’s interior. At The Dalmore, the location’s fundamental elements of soil and timber play an intrinsic role in the whisky-making process and in giving its distinctive flavour. Kuma and Mucciola establish a poetic connection between design and whisky-making: highlighting mutually utilised materials, taking inspiration from the power and natural surroundings of each destination, and honouring their friendship with V&A Dundee that brought together the project.


In a world-first, four-year partnership, The Dalmore, the fastest growing luxury single malt whisky and V&A Dundee, Scotland’s design museum, seek to champion and nurture exceptional creative talent. Together, they pledge to cultivate a global platform for contemporary artisans and designers and inspire the next generation of creative thinkers to pursue their potential.

The relationship is embedded in a relentless pursuit of excellence as champions of Scottish culture, and in exporting shared purpose, talent, and stories. The four-year collaboration allows V&A Dundee and The Dalmore to curate and advocate for exceptional design on a global scale and offers crucial support for the design museum.

Kengo Kuma

Kengo Kuma said: “My relationship with The Dalmore, and with Scotland, is one born from a love of natural materials and the unfolding of stories over a lifetime. In my work with Richard Paterson and The Dalmore, I see a same respect for the environment, and the same careful attention to the way great design must continue to evolve over time. The glorifier design echoes this sensibility, inviting all who see it to consider the elements, seen and unseen, that have gone into its conception.”

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