Oct 11, 2021

A closer look at Diageo's Prima & Ultima Luxury Whisky Packaging

GPA Luxury discusses how the company created eight different designs for the 237 different whisky sets priced at £20,000 each.
Elisabeth Skoda

Diageo released a collection of Scottish single malts in 2020. Prima & Ultima, meaning “first and last”, is a rare collection drawn from eight different Diageo distilleries. These special vintage single malts were selected for the first Prima & Ultima release by master blender Dr Jim Beveridge, who said: “Each of the eight whiskies I’ve selected…tells a tale of heritage and craftsmanship, and I’ve chosen them from distillers of great personal importance to me.”

The GPA Luxury team were  invited to manufacture the luxury whisky packs for these eight whiskies: Caol Ila 1984, Clynelish 1993, Cragganmore 1971, Lagavulin 1991, Mortlach 1994, Port Ellen 1979, Singleton of Dufftown 1988, and Talisker 1988.

"We crafted eight different cases, using the same construction and outer embellishments to create thematic consistency across the collection. Each pack has a handmade sub-frame, constructed from FSC-certified MDF. The structure includes a base and a door, attached with SOSS hinges that are concealed within the frame when the pack is closed," says GPA Luxury.

The exterior was wrapped in premium, FSC-certified uncoated white paper, embellished with gold foil flecks, and the branding for each distillery was added, using a combination of foils and metal decals sealed in a high-gloss piano finish lacquer.

Inside, the pack contains a bottle fitment for the whisky lined in faux-suede.

"For each whisky we chose a different shade for the lining complementary to the relevant brand’s colours – the Lagavulin has a lush forest green, the Mortlach a midnight blue, and the Clynelish a rich red. This colour is continued in the frame that sits around the fitment; when the pack is closed the frame is visible, giving the exterior a flash of colour that contrasts pleasingly with the white paper."

The final touch is a paper certificate set into a recess inside the door. The certificate bears the whisky’s branding and offers a history of that single malt, as well as tasting notes and numbering to indicate its rarity.

In total, 237 Prima & Ultima sets were made available, with each priced at £20,000.

Elisabeth Skoda

Editor of Touchpoints magazine, writer for Packaging Europe magazine and design enthusiast!
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