The Scotch Malt Whiskey Society inaugural contribution to Distillers One of One Auction at Sotheby’s (October 5, 2023) is what they describe as “a minimalist, eco-friendly sculpture that puts whiskey at the heart of the offering.” The Scotch Malt Whiskey Society’s The Only Drop has spent 33 years in sherry casks and is surrounded by a bespoke paper pulp sculpture infused with wood chips from the original casks, once again bringing together the liquid with the container in which it matured.
Whiskey started in a very classical direction. On September 25, 1989, a spirit from a Speyside distillery (Scotch Malt Whiskey Society Distillery No. 24) renowned for its use of sherry casks began to mature in an Oloroso sherry cask. Thirty years later, on May 7, 2019, its contents were divided equally between a first-fill Oloroso barrel and a first-fill Pedro. Ximénez barrel. Three years later, they were reunited.
This bottling is considered “a sculptural celebration of the relationship between whiskey and barrel. This one-of-a-kind craft release serves as a visual account of the 33-year partnership that gave rise to this unique whiskey. The liquid is represented by a ripple formation on the sculpture which is inspired by the unique pattern of water in nature, with a droplet portal allowing a glimpse of the precious whiskey contained within.
Euan Campbell, head of whiskey creation at the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society, said in a prepared statement that “with such a unique whisky, we decided to delve into the warehouse of some of the rarest casks we have available . The barrels I ultimately chose have an interesting story – a story to tell – and when the samples arrived at the lab, we had fun trying to put them together, finding the right combination and getting the best flavor profile possible.
“The whiskey began its life in 1989 and was left to mature in a single oloroso cask, but in 2019 I decided to split the contents of that sherry cask into two sherry casks: one oloroso cask and a Pedro. Ximénez barrel. This bottling is the coming together of these two liquids to create something unique and very special. We have very nutty dry flavors from the oloroso and sweeter dark molasses notes from the Pedro. Ximénez, and they complement each other very well. There is a true elegance that only comes with age. Overall, this is a very decadent and elegant old drama.
This completely unique bottle and one-of-a-kind whiskey has been created exclusively for The Distillers One of One auction, which brings together a collection of never-before-seen Scotch whiskeys from distilleries across Scotland. Profits from the purchase of this whiskey will mainly be donated to the Youth Action Fund which helps transform the lives of the most disadvantaged young people by helping them develop their confidence, resilience and skills so that they are ready for life and work.
This one-of-a-kind set accompanies the traditional 700ml bottle with a 100ml miniature to allow the buyer to taste the whisky. It shares the same design features as the main bottle, such as the hand-dipped wax neck and aluminum embellishments. It also includes a hand-bound paper book, sewn and covered in copper foil, documenting the concept, journey and tasting notes of this release.