Sotheby’s to Offer the Only Complete Collection of The Dalmore Decades – Scotch Whisky News

Sotheby’s to Offer the Only Complete Collection of The Dalmore Decades

– A One of a Kind Set of Six Vintage Single Malts Spanning 1951 to 2000 –

Direct from the Distillery

 Single-Lot Auction in Hong Kong on 8 October

LONDON & HONG KONG, 17 September 2021 – An icon of the whisky world, The Dalmore Highland Single Malt proudly displays its 180-year-old heritage with the twelve-point stag on each of its bottles. This autumn, Sotheby’s will offer the only complete collection of The Dalmore Decades – a one of a kind set of six vintage single malts spanning 1951 to 2000 – direct from the distillery. A culmination of his 50-year custody of exceptionally rare casks, the six-bottle collection was created by Richard Paterson, The Dalmore’s Master Distiller. The set, including one of the oldest liquids ever to have been released by the distillery and the first Scotch whisky created in the new millennium, comprises Paterson’s personal selection of single malts from 1951, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1995, 2000. Encapsulating sixty years of whisky making, The Dalmore’s latest release is made unique by a number of distinguishing features: the inclusion of the coveted 1951 vintage – representing the only opportunity to acquire a decanter of this 60-year-old whisky; the bespoke silver collars on each of the decanters; and the individual display pedestals topped with black oak.

The Dalmore Decades will be offered in a dedicated 1-lot auction in Hong Kong on 8 October 2021, with an estimate in excess of HK$4,000,000 / US$500,000 / £350,000, as part of Sotheby’s Hong Kong autumn sales series.  A percentage of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to V&A Dundee, following The Dalmore’s announcement in 2020 of a four-year partnership with Scotland’s first design museum and the first Victoria & Albert museum to open outside of London.* This long-term commitment will allow V&A Dundee and The Dalmore to nurture and champion Scottish culture and creative talent on a global stage.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, said: “We are thrilled to partner with The Dalmore Distillery once again, to auction the exclusive six-bottle Decades Collection in Hong Kong. This new release encapsulates everything that The Dalmore is so well known for, from the quality of its liquid, to its ability to age and, of course, its exquisite presentation. Our offering presents a one-time only opportunity to acquire the complete set – including the inimitable 1951 vintage – making this unmissable for any dedicated collector of whisky.”

Richard Paterson, The Dalmore’s Master Distiller, said: “Over the past 50 years, I have kept a watchful eye over our superlative inventory of rare whiskies, giving them the guidance to mature and reach their full potential in the finest casks sourced from around the world. Each bottle marks a very special milestone in the brand’s history and has a unique story to tell, which I hope the lucky collector will enjoy with those closest to them. This collection is a memento of our 180-year history in the making. We are proud to share the pinnacle of six decades of whisky making, the result of potential earned and honed over time.”

Paul Wong, Head of Sotheby’s Wine & Spirits Auction, Asia, said: “We are seeing strong demand for top whisky in Asia and no doubt this one-of-a kind collection from a 180-year-old iconic distillery will cause great excitement amongst collectors.”

The one of one, six bottle collection

The Dalmore Decades 1951 60 Year Old – Bottled in 2011

One of the oldest single malt whiskies ever to have been released by The Dalmore, this single malt was distilled and placed into casks under the watchful eye of Colonel Hector ‘HAC’ Mackenzie, who took over management of the distillery from his father in April 1946. It was matured in twin sherry casks that were the last remnants from the Mackenzie era, brought together after spending 60 years side by side.

The Dalmore Decades 1967 53 Year Old – Bottled in 2020

The 1960s was a transformational decade for the distillery, with 1967 a landmark year, when the number of stills was increased from four to eight – expanding The Dalmore’s whisky-making potential. Their expert orchestration was a vital component in the composition of the final spirit which completed its maturation process in a Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine barrique from Château Mont-Redon.

The Dalmore Decades 1979 40 Year Old – Bottled in 2020

The 1970s paved the way for a number of exceptional milestones in the history of The Dalmore distillery, not least the arrival in 1970 of Richard Paterson who would work with the Mackenzie family to unlock the secrets of The Dalmore and the maturation process. This single malt ended its maturation journey in an exceptionally rare Graham’s Port Pipe Vintage 1952 – a year of post-war austerity when only tiny quantities of vintage Port were made.

The Dalmore Decades 1980 40 Year Old – Bottled in 2020

In a demonstration of entrepreneurial spirit, the maturation journey for this whisky was spun on its head: instead of providing only a foundation, the ex-Bourbon cask used in the first maturation process was also used as a finish for more than five years, before bottling.

The Dalmore Decades 1995 25 Year Old – Bottled in 2020

The iconic ‘bell shaped’ Dalmore bottle was first introduced in 1994, its sinuous curves echoing the shape of the stills through which the distillery’s spirit runs. It provided the ideal frame for a more prominent Royal Stag. During this decade, Richard Paterson would lay down a succession of casks from sherry bodegas in Spain and Portugal, and some of the world’s great wineries in France and California. Aged initially in ex-Bourbon casks, this whisky was then transferred into a Graham’s vintage Port Pipe from 1994 before spending more than five years in a barrique used to mature Tintilla de Rota, sweet fortified wine from southern Spain. 

The Dalmore Decades 2000 20 Year Old – Bottled in 2020

The Dalmore distillery was the first distillery in Scotland to run off the “New Spirit” at 12.02am on Saturday, 1st January 2000. In a radical departure from the distillery’s practice, the 2000 has spent all 20 years of its life maturing in a Matusalem sherry butt, as opposed to an initial period in ex-Bourbon casks.


*The Dalmore will donate 15% of the hammer price to V&A Dundee.

On 16 September, The Dalmore and V&A Dundee unveiled their commission of a short film celebrating the first realisation of their four-year partnership. Kengo Kuma, architect of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games National Stadium and V&A Dundee, features alongside Richard Paterson, The Dalmore’s Master Distiller, in Decades in the Making. Framed by a collage of evocative archive images and a bespoke commissioned soundtrack, the six-minute film by Scottish film-makers STROMA Films explores creative inspiration and the development of potential over time, coinciding with seminal career moments for both masters in their respective fields.

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