THE Scotch Malt Whisky Society has revealed it is bucking the trend with its inaugural contribution to the Distillers One of One auction at Sotheby’s next month with a ‘minimalist, environmentally-friendly’ sculpture that puts the whisky at the heart of the offering and proves luxury can be ‘simple and sustainable’.
The Only Drop by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is described as a ‘decadent, elegant’ dram that has spent 33 years in sherry casks and is encased by a bespoke paper pulp sculpture infused with wood shavings from the original casks.
The concept was led by STCKMN in consultation with British paper innovators, James Cropper, and handcrafted for the auction by Matter Agency.
Euan Campbell, head of whisky creation at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, said, “With such a unique one of one we decided to delve into the warehouse of some of the most rare casks that we have. The casks that I decided on in the end have an interesting backstory – a tale to tell – and when the samples arrived in the lab we had fun trying to put them together and figure out the right combination and arrive at the best flavour profile possible.
“The whisky originally started its life in 1989 and was left to mature in a single oloroso butt, but in 2019 I decided to split the contents of that sherry butt into two sherry hogsheads – one oloroso hogshead and one Pedro Ximénez hogshead. This bottling is the reuniting of these two liquids to create something one-off and very special.”
The bottle was created exclusively for The Distillers One of One auction, which brings together a collection of whiskies from distilleries across Scotland. The proceeds from the purchase of this whisky will principally go to The Youth Action Fund which helps transform the lives of disadvantaged young people.
The set consists of an exclusive rare liquid bottled in Society glassware with One of One artwork and encased by ‘The Only Drop’ sculpture. Accompanying the 700ml bottle will be a 100ml miniature. It shares the same design features as the main bottle, such as the hand-dipped wax neck and foil embellishments. It also includes a hand-bound stitched and copper-foiled paper book documenting the concept, journey and tasting notes of this release.
Rebecca Hamilton, chief marketing & experience officer for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, added, “It was important to us that we did things a little differently, so instead of an elaborate, expensive bottle, we created a stripped back, sustainable design which puts the whisky at the heart and lets it shine as the hero. This is a very special whisky flavour curation – and a complete one off.
“That said, it would not feel very Society if the liquid inside this incredible bottle never got tasted. For that reason, we provided a 100ml bottle alongside the 700ml bottle of The Only Drop so hopefully, with our best wishes, whoever is lucky enough to win it at auction will be able to taste a piece of liquid history and cherish the unique one of one bottle too.”
Designed by STCKMN, the creative studio of multi-disciplinary designer Chris Wilson, and handcrafted by Matter Agency using both contemporary and traditional techniques, ‘The Only Drop’ packaging is a sculptural piece of art.
Chris Wilson from STCKMN explained, “I was excited to be commissioned by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society to create a one off, one-of-a-kind piece of art for the Distillers One of One release. As it was the first time the society had taken part in the prestigious event, it was a real opportunity to create something with visual impact to capture the attention of those attending the auction.
“With craft at the heart of the whisky making process, I wanted to reflect this in the design and the methods of production. The Only Drop is a handcrafted paper moulded sculpture that celebrates the relationship between liquid and cask. The liquid itself is represented by a ripple formation that’s inspired by the unrepeatable pattern of water in nature. With a single droplet representing the rarity of the release and to honour the casks’ contribution to the flavour in the whisky, we took wood shavings from the original casks and embedded them into the paper pulp sculpture. The idea being that when you place the sculpture onto the bottle it reunites the whisky with the cask as they once were during maturation.”