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Glenmorangie 18 Extremely Rare x Azuma Makoto

What you need to know:

  • Glenmorangie 18 Extremely Rare gets some nice new clothes from a collaboration with Japanese botanical sculpture artist Azuma Makoto.
  • Makoto is known for using flowers and blooms as his medium of art and has done everything from launched a bonsai into space, to plunging a bouquet into the depths of the ocean and even frozen all of it.
  • Note that the whisky inside the bottle (if anyone is concerned) is actually the same as before. Nothing has changed aside from the packaging.
  • The packaging however, is extremely gorgeous (get the pun?) and is designed based on Makoto's artwork "Dancing Flowers of Glenmorangie" which includes about 100 flowers curated based on the inspiration taken from his sip of the whisky.
  • The bottle will be released in mid-September 2021 till November 2021, as a limited release.
  • The bottle itself is matured for 15 years in Bourbon casks, with some of it taken for maturation in Oloroso Sherry casks for a further 3 years before vatting it altogether.
  • Is this worth buying? Yes for the nice packaging and the nice tasting whisky. Is it investable? No, short of them making an NFT out of it. You're welcome, marketing team at Glenmorangie.


The new collaboration sees the Glenmorangie 18 Extremely Rare put on some fancy new clothes. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)


Azuma Makoto is a Japanese artist famed for his floral sculptures and out of this world placements of his beautiful bouquets. At times he's frozen his flowers, launched them into space, plunged them to the depths of the ocean, you name it, he's done it with them flowers.

Now, as all artists do, he collaborates with spirits makers, in this case Glenmorangie, to combine whisky with art. Haven't heard of that before have you?

The work will adorn the Glenmorangie 18 for a limited release. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)

His collaboration will see the Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare take on some new packaging which will feature a bouquet he's sculpted in inspiration of the "fragrant bouquet" he's found in the malt.


“When I first tasted Glenmorangie 18 Years Old, each sip of the whisky unfurled as if it was a flower in bloom.

I could taste so many blossoms dancing on my tongue, that I was inspired to reimagine the whisky in Dancing Flowers of Glenmorangie. I hope that through this limited edition design, my work brings as much joy as the delicious tastes which inspired it.”

Azuma Makoto


I feel like I've stared pretty hard at some whisky bottles but I've gotten no closer to being an artist. At times, my whisky-inspired poetry has only served to embarrass me the day after. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)

In honour of the Glenmorangie 18, he's constructed a sculpture entitled "Dancing Flowers of Glenmorangie", which is a moving sculpture that will feature around 100 different floral blooms. This sculpture will adorn the limited release of the coming Glenmorangie 18.

Makoto turned the whisky's notes of honeysuckle, sweet pea, jasmine and geranium entwined with dried fruits and honey, into this piece of work. It also includes flowers native to Scotland.


Dancing Flowers of Glenmorangie by Azuma Makoto. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)

These flowers and petals were then released over the work which was then photographed and filmed. Therefore "Dancing Flowers of Glenmorangie".

The bottle itself, which I'm not entirely sure anyone is paying attention to, is matured in bourbon casks for 15 years followed by some Oloroso Sherry cask aging for another 3 years, and subsequently vatted to produce the final whisky.

This limited release will be out in mid-September 2021 till November 2021 spread across various key markets. Sources tell me Japan will likely see the first instance of its release.


Absolutely lovely bottle. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)


Our Take

As cliche as it is to pair whisky and art, I can't deny that it has produced some really nice bottles and if you're gonna regularly buy whiskies anyway, doesn't hurt to have a more aesthetic one on occasion.

Not the most original, but I do think it is a very lovely bottle.

I feel I am entitled to just focus solely on the packaging here because frankly this is just the same bottle that's been around for awhile except with nicer clothes.

It comes with a fully renewed packaging as well. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)

With that out of the way, look at that, what a gorgeous box. Most of the time, whiskies come in big, bulky boxes that are really great for all of 10 seconds and after which become a bother to get rid off. Too nice to throw, too uneconomically space-consuming to keep. It's a difficult first world problem, I am aware. But this is a really neat box. Certainly worth keeping. 

Now, if you're interested in what's inside the bottle because you're a purist, which basically means you don't wanna feel guilty splurging on this gorgeous packaging without comforting yourself that it is great whisky inside at the least, I will provide you the assurance that the whisky inside is indeed of great quality. I personally love the Glenmorangie 18. I enjoy the fruity, floral, honeyed notes that mellows out because of the age, which a nice little spicy, and spiced, bite to the finish. 

Unfortunately, the text "Limited Edition Design by Azuma Makoto" does not make it any more investable. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)

Fun Fact: The Glenmorangie 18 was the first "big ticket" Scotch I bought.

Now, if you wanna push it, and I'm sure of you do, is it investable? Unfortunately, no. Certainly not if the whisky inside exists in other less attractive forms. Which Glenmorangie has kindly provided us the ability to compare and contrast it with.

Now could that change? Yeah, if they suddenly decided to make an NFT with it. It's digital after all right? You're welcome, marketing team at Glenmorangie 😉 .


Now I can't say if this was done out of great humor, but I certainly had a good chuckle that the team decided to put the normal bottle amidst the artwork just to heighten how much of an improvement this limited edition design is. (Image Source: Glenmorangie)


So for the million dollar question, would I get it? Yes.

Will I feel a twinge of heart pain when I do? Also yes. 

Now that's honesty for you.