Fine Art Asia Puts Antique Whisky In The Frame

International Whisky Experts, Cask 88, Bring Whisky To Art Asia

September 19, 2017

EDINBURGH — 19 September 2017 – At the end of September, antique whisky will, for the first time ever, be exhibited alongside ancient and contemporary art from across the globe, giving recognition to vintage whisky as a branch of fine art in its own right. As part of this historic first appearance for whisky at Fine Art Asia 2017, rare and old whisky specialists Cask 88 are due to launch two new independent bottlings, bringing together the work of Scottish master distillers with that of Scottish and international fine artists.

Vintage spirits fans will have two pieces of whisky history for their collections, both of which represent a marriage of fine Scottish whisky production with Scottish art and craftsmanship, as part of a project designed to celebrate the whisky industry’s most valuable resource: time. Firstly, an extremely exclusive Glenfiddich 53 year old 1964 (ABV 46%, first fill sherry cask), bottled in a Hamilton & Inches crystal decanter with a sterling silver stag’s head stopper, pays homage to the Glenfiddich signature bottling style. Only 96 of these have been produced.

Secondly, a Ben Nevis 45 year old 1972 (ABV 42%) is the product of a unique artistic collaboration involving Edinburgh College of Art graduate Paul Charlton, Inverness-based small business Darach Gifts and Spanish master glassmakers, the Gordiola family. The whisky is presented in a hand-blown bottle, housed in a bespoke copper-fronted wooden box, made from vintage oak whisky barrels. Only 228 bottles of the Ben Nevis bottling will be available; consumers can choose from one of four designs, with each product made to order. Prices are available on request.

These independent bottlings will be the first to be exhibited alongside ancient and contemporary art from across the globe, and therefore the first pieces of antique whisky to be recognised as fine art. Cask 88 Director Patrick Costello said, “The craftsmanship involved in these projects, from the dedication and skill of the master distillers at Glenfiddich and Ben Nevis, to the undeniable expertise of Paul Charlton, Hamilton & Inches, Gordiola and Darach, has truly elevated vintage whisky into the realm of fine art.”

A selection of rare Macallan, Glendronach, Bowmore, Port Ellen and Brora bottles will also be available for immediate sale at the stand. Casks are represented with Macallan 1990, Longmorn 1988, Glenfarclas 1989, Auchentoshan 1989, Dufftown 1987 and North British 1988, among others. Samples will be available at the fair. Information on how to purchase these rare bottles and casks can be found on the Cask 88 website,

“We at Cask 88, as the home for rare and old whisky, consider it our responsibility to nurture bold craftsmanship in the industry, and this extends beyond whisky production to the presentation of our bottlings,” said Patrick Costello. “These independent bottlings are a fine example of what can be achieved by anyone who comes to us seeking to bottle their own cask of whisky.”

Cask 88 support clients in bottling their own whisky, from selecting and buying a cask, maturing the whisky, through to bottling, labelling and branding. By leveraging an international network of whisky industry professionals, fine artists and craftsmen, they aim to help clients make a reality of their creative vision.

Cask 88 has relationships with the most desirable and sought after distilleries that have their own world-class brands. They have sold casks with fill-dates ranging from 1964 to 2012 and offer casks from over 40 distilleries across all major regions. Whether seeking to complete a personal collection or to fulfill a commercially driven project, those interested in pursuing their own independent bottling project should visit the Cask 88 website for more information. Both independent bottlings will be available first to attendees of Fine Art Asia, then listed on the Cask 88 website after the fair.

Tasting Notes

Glenfiddich 53 year old

This very special Glenfiddich has spent over half a century in a first fill sherry cask. Over this time, the spirit has taken on the flavour and character of the cask to develop an incredibly complex nose: sweet vanilla spice, parma violets, toffee apples and dried fruit, with a touch of black pepper. Having aged in a sherry cask, the palate is delightfully sweet and creamy, delivering warming notes of red fruits, malt, honey, truffle and toffee brittle. The finish is as you would expect for a whisky with such a lengthy maturation – long finish, spicy with hints of chocolate.

Ben Nevis 45 year old

A sweet and nutty nose, accompanied by notes of dark fruit and cherry, is a complex and welcome introduction to this venerable Ben Nevis whisky, which boasts four and a half decades of maturation. The sherry cask finish is evident on the palate, where we’re met with citrus fruits and dark chocolate, followed by a distinctive mix of tobacco leaves, dried herbs and milk chocolate with a touch of oak. The finish is long with a bitter dryness, offering dark chocolate, sweet tobacco and cherries with cinnamon, reminding us of its significant time spent in oak.

Notes to Editors:

Director of Cask 88, Patrick Costello is available for interview. Please RSVP to arrange, Miriam Rune: / 07740 339 628.

Interview transcripts with Hamilton & Inches and Paul Charlton, and additional images, are available on request.

High Resolution Press Images:

About Cask 88

Founded in 2007, Cask 88 is now internationally recognised as one of the world’s foremost whisky experts, selling old and rare casks and bottles from world-renowned distilleries. An extensive inventory and expansive global network provide an unparalleled selection of fine whiskies, which attracts a wide clientele from London, Hong Kong, Beijing to New York. Cask 88 believes that buying vintage whisky should be fun and offers its clients a bespoke service where they are given an opportunity to select, purchase, label and package their own exclusive whisky drawn from the finest Scotch casks.

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About Fine Art Asia

Hosted by the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre between 30 September and 3 October 2017, Fine Art Asia is recognised by the international art world as Asia’s leading fine art fair. On display are museum-quality art works spanning over 5,000 years of cultural history, from ancient Chinese bronzes through to contemporary art. Since its inception in 2006, Fine Art Asia has attracted an increasing number of leading international galleries, while earning worldwide recognition. Fine Art Asia is unique: the only fair in Asia to showcase a wide range of collectible fine art from Asia and the West.

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About Paul Charlton

A graduate of sculpture from the Edinburgh College of Art, Paul Charlton is a master across various artforms, who combines his skills elegantly to ensure his art extends beyond the canvas to engage with the environment in which it sits. Following graduation, he taught Art and Craft classes and workshops, worked in theatre designing and building sets, before going on to study furniture making & restoration. Paul is currently working with photography and printmaking, blending these with sculpture, theatre and furniture making skills to create unique works of art.

About Hamilton & Inches

Established in 1866 by Robert Kirk Inches and his uncle, James Hamilton, Hamilton & Inches ​is Scotland’s luxury jewellery house, with distinctive workshops and an iconic customer showroom in the heart of Edinburgh. With 150 years of heritage, Hamilton & Inches brings the world’s most aspirational brands to life and crafts each gift with prestige and pride. Hamilton & Inches are ​holders of the Royal Warrant​ ​for​ ​120​ ​years,​ ​and​ ​Silversmiths​ ​and​ ​Clock​ ​Specialists​ ​to​ ​The​ ​Queen.

About Darach

Darach is a small family run company, based in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. The craftsmen at Darach take pride in creating quality furniture and gifts from vintage oak whisky barrels. Each one of their products is individually handcrafted, ensuring that every Darach product is unique. At Darach they recognise and respect the long history and tradition of Scottish whisky casks and their intriguing story.

About Gordiola

The art of blowing glass is one of the most precious values ​​of our multisecular artistic tradition, cultivated since 1719 in the glass ovens of the Gordiola family. Over almost three centuries, through successive generations, the artisans and master glassmakers have been modelling, with the ingenuity of their inspiration, the air of their lungs and the agility of their hands, the pieces whose forms, transparencies and reflections still today seduce us. No piece is identical to the other. Any bubble irregularities or asymmetry are characteristic of hand blown glass and give these works their particular charm.


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