Considering the world’s most expensive whisky sold at an auction until now went for S$1,483,578, the latest auction conducted by Sotheby’s for The Dalmore L’Anima Aged 49 Years seems to be quite the bargain at S$190,520.
The one-of-a-kind whisky is a truly heartfelt creation conceived by a partnership between two exceptional talents — Massimo Bottura, Chef-Patron of Osteria Francescana, voted the World’s No. 1 Restaurant in 2016 and 2018, and The Dalmore, an internationally revered scotch-whisky maker.
The word anima means soul in Italian, and behind the soul of the project was the aim to raise funds towards Bottura and Lara Gilmore’s non-profit organisation, Food for Soul. This special institution empowers communities to fight against food waste through social inclusion.
“We are honoured to be part of this great collaboration with The Dalmore, which displays the excellent features of this world-renowned whisky together with an Italian touch. I’m even more enthusiastic that this unique project, together with Sotheby’s precious help, will support Food for Soul to build projects that celebrate the culture and the potential of communities around the world,” said Bottura.
A natural strength whisky (41.5% ABV), the Dalmore L’Anima is an amalgamation of three distinctive flavours and distillations, using the brand’s in-house casks. Which means that it’s a unique combination of rare Dalmore whiskies that have been matured in freshly emptied bourbon barrels, Gonzalez Byass sherry casks that earlier held 40-year-old Pedro Ximenez sherry, and Graham’s vintage port pipes.
The fragrance and tasting notes for this single malt read like a recipe list: Exotic aromas of sun-kissed raisins, bitter chocolate and old English marmalade. Subtle touches of freshly brewed Java coffee, Demerara sugar, pecan pie and crème brûlée tantalise the palate. And the freshness of Sanguinello blood oranges lingers on the after-taste, alongside rich treacle and succulent figs.
Furthermore, the Dalmore L’Anima is presented in an engraved crystal decanter, featuring a sterling silver collar and stopper, and a silver stag. It was offered for sale in a bespoke, handcrafted cabinet made of Italian olive wood, American black walnut and solid ebony by Scottish craftsman John Galvin. Making it a memorable keepsake long after the lingering taste of the whisky disappears.
“This is a one of a kind bottling from The Dalmore – a product of a fantastic collaboration between Massimo and myself,” said Richard Paterson, Master Distiller at The Dalmore. “When Massimo and I first started discussing this collaboration it was clear we shared a passion to celebrate life by creating incredible food and drink. That passion is captured within this carefully composed one of a kind bottle.”
And since an extraordinary drink deserves to be accompanied by superior food, the winning bid also won an invitation for dinner for two at Osteria Francescana in Modena.
Sotheby’s have sold close to SG$2.75 million worth of drinks in its sales this year alone. This particular sale, however, has exceeded their expectations. It’s clearly a feat as remarkable as the whiskey itself.