Oct 11, 2021

Packaging as an investment and collector's item

Littlemill Testament, the oldest Littlemill expression to be released to date, has launched in custom-made hand blown crystal decanters from Glencairn Crystal Studio.
Elisabeth Skoda

Littlemill Testament, the oldest Littlemill expression to be released to date, has launched in custom-made hand blown crystal decanters from Glencairn Crystal Studio.

The new release celebrates Littlemill’s legacy as Scotland’s oldest licensed distillery and is contained in a luxury decanter, developed by the team at Glencairn Crystal, which incorporates remnants of the original distillery manager’s house giving collectors the opportunity to own a piece of Scotch Whisky history. These pieces, which date back to 1772, include reclaimed glass, slate, wood and stone sourced from the roof, windows, walls and floors of the building.

Exceptional attention to detail has been given to the presentation of the whisky, which comprises a total of just 250 decanters. Each has been  crafted in hand blown crystal decanters, which have been facet cut at the base by Glencairn craftspeople, mirroring the style of glass cutting during the Georgian period, and a bespoke handmade collar was designed and produced to fit around the neck of the decanter.

Each decanter is housed in a bespoke handcrafted cabinet and the team at Glencairn worked closely in conjunction with the cabinet manufacturer to develop the metal elements required to match the metalware on the decanter. Each cabinet comes complete with a dress stopper made from the sandstone taken from the remains of the Littlemill distillery.  Crystal pegs had to be cut by hand and were then hand fitted into the decorative stoppers.

Finally, for collectors who wish to leave the decanter untouched, each comes with a unique code allowing the owner to claim a 5cl of the precious liquid. An additional 5cl can be claimed at a future date, using the same code, protecting the investment by allowing a second owner to claim their 5cl to enjoy.

These limited release decanters are joined by four unique decanters, which are all accompanied by a pair of specially sourced Georgian glasses, dating back to the 18th century with the facet cut on the stems of each pair and unique engraving around the bowl, replicated on each decanter.

The first decanter’s dress stopper is completed with slate sourced from the roof of the distillery manager’s house, the second with glass from the window, the third with wood from the floor, and the final stopper with stone from the building itself. Each special decanter contains a wooden disc cut from a stave from the Littlemill barrel, which conceals a unique code which can be used to request two 5cl samples of the Littlemill Testament liquid.

The first of the four unique decanters was auctioned in China in January, reaching a price of £19,000. Littlemill Testament – Limited Edition release has a recommended retail price of £8,000, ABV 42.5%.

Glencairn Crystal has created premium decanters for Littlemill whiskies since 2015 and these luxury custom-made decanters are similar to the decanters created for the 40 Year Old and 29 Year Old releases. This project however was challenging as the team of designers and craftspeople had to create a cut pattern around the bottom quarter of the decanter to represent water shimmering.

Kenny Tweedale, New Product Development Manager at Glencairn Crystal, who headed up the project at the Glasgow based, award-winning family business commented: “We’ve been delighted to continue our partnership with the Loch Lomond Group and to be a part of this very special project. Our talented team of craftspeople were excited to take up the challenge of working with the actual materials salvaged from the original Littlemill Distillery. The true spirit of the original distillery is uniquely captured with the release of Littlemill Testament.”

Elisabeth Skoda

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