Auction 18-22 October 2021
A Macallan 1991 Cask, The Angel's Share NFT
Worlds-First Scotch Cask with Digital Artwork Label:
Secured on the Blockchain
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About the Drop
This 30 Year old first fill sherry butt distilled at Macallan, has perfect provenance having been stored at the Macallan Distillery. This is the most valuable and sought after cask that has ever been available for sale and is expected to break the auction record for the most expensive sale. The cask turned 30 years on the 3rd of June, and the last re-gauge puts the current bottle count at about 608 with an ABV of approximately 51.1%.
NFT Cask Ownership
The NFT allows for ownership of the 1991 Macallan Butt to be represented digitally on the blockchain, and is aimed at replacing the traditional Proof of Ownership Certificate. For this Cask, a Delivery Order will be executed to transfer the Cask ownership to the new buyer at either the Macallan Distillery or another warehouse of the buyer’s choosing.
The Artwork: The Angel's share
For this novel NFT, Metacask has commissioned Trevor Jones, who created The Angel’s Share, an artwork comprised of two items (1-1 special high-resolution uncompressed scan of the oil painting, and a special 1-1 animation which points out the interesting elements of the work). The purchaser will own the Cask, and in addition will also receive the digital artwork as part of the NFT. Due to the nature of the work, the decision to include the high resolution uncompressed image is to provide the purchaser the full experience of the oil – which cannot be conveyed in the current limited compressed formats supported by NFT infrastructure. For backward compatibility, there is a low resolution image also linked which displays the label in existing wallet infrastructure for example. The purchaser can experience the full uncompressed image with appropriate display screens – while sipping on a fine single malt!
Trevor Jones graduated from Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art with an MA (Hons) Fine Art with distinction in 2008. From 2008 – 2014 Jones was the Director of Scottish charity Art in Healthcare and a part-time painting tutor at Leith School of Art. He’s been a full- time artist since 2015 and has been working at the intersection of art and technology for over a decade. In the last 16 months Jones has had record breaking drops on the top four NFT marketplaces- SuperRare, Known Origin, MakersPlace and Niftygateway. Jones’ work is highly sought after throughout the NFT art collector community.
In the Artists' words
When one speaks of Whisky the immediate thoughts conjured are often of flavour, aroma and the fleeting moment of sensation and experience. However, beyond such ephemeral expectations, the essence of whisky is very much that of longevity, patience, hand crafted skill and diligence, evolving colours and without a doubt, something that is quintessentially Scottish.
Jones’ expressive painting “The Angel’s Share” celebrates Scotland and the enduring talents of whisky production through an abstract and painterly depiction of Macallan’s 1991 Cask #12612. This artwork combines a variety of elements that represent the rare cask including the ceiling of Macallan’s distillery, the heads and wings of two angels, the initial volume of the whisky, the cask silhouette and the shape of the copper pot stills.
Reflecting tangible qualities with a sense of environment, the colour palette explores the ambers, bronzes and golds of the whisky, the coppers and umbers of the distillery, the greens and purples of the thistle, and the moody greys of the famed and inclement Scottish weather.
This large canvas draws note to the value of the cask as an investment, and to the world of collectors and connoisseurs. “The Angel’s Share” digital image and the 1991 cask work together in a unique partnership of status and exclusivity. In an industry first, the two will be made available through innovative blockchain technology and an NFT digital work of art.
An essay by Bill Hare, Art Historian
Western painting has been dominated by the pictorial language of optical resemblance. Painters were expected to render the visual world as accurately and convincingly as possible. According to Alberti for instance, painting was “a window onto the world.” But what of The Angel’s Share? How might painters rise above the mundane to visually express that which is not visible – the poetic, the spiritual, the angelic?
The artist Trevor Jones has been confronted with such a challenge with his subject, Macallan’s highly prestigious 1991 whisky, hidden away in cask #12612, and not open to visual scrutiny or artistic examination. Put in such a position the painter has wisely opted to take a conceptual, rather than a mimetic approach, to convey and celebrate his veiled subject.
Using the highly inventive pictorial language of modern painting – in this case a combination of cubist fragmentation and abstract expression – the painter has subtly drawn together a range of different elements that have played their part in the complex distillation of this particular and highly prized malt whisky.
The painting’s predominant central motif powerfully evokes the presence of the great sherry butt cask, in which the precious liquid will be left to mature for an impressive fifty years. Superimposed on the cask motif is the faint brown outlined shapes of two copper pot stills which play a vital role in the distillation process. To the right, above the pots there can just be made out arched outlines which reference the splendid wooden beams that grace the ceiling of the recently renovated Macallan Distillery at Easter Elchies. The surrounding background of the painting, with its different areas of vigorously applied pigment – in gray and white – is highly evocative of the Scottish landscape and the volatile nature of its climate. With such raw and spontaneous brushwork, the painter successfully seeks to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors, such as William McTaggart and Joan Eardley.
Finally, we are allowed to catch a momentary glimpse of the eponymous Angels. Soaring above all the liquid ferment below, we can just make out the almost transparent, wispy white lines of the Whisky Angels, who according to Scottish myth and ancient folk tradition, draws off from the distillation process, the divine’s share of the water of life.
The NFT represents ownership of the Cask, a real-world asset under bond and closely monitored by the revenue services. For this reason, any future sale of the cask will require the involvement of Metacask to ensure KYC checks are carried out on the potential purchaser and to whitelist their wallet to receive the NFT. This is a very simple and quick process, but ensures compliance.
Eventually a purchaser may elect to bottle the Cask – at which point, Metacask will swap the Cask NFT for a NFT which only contains the artwork. Subsequently that new NFT will trade as any normal art NFT.
Services Offered by VCL Vintners
As part of the sale, VCL Vintners offers the purchaser the following services:
- Arrange a DO if the purchaser requests it (or is required by Macallan)
- Help the buyer organize insurance for the cask (buyer will require insurance in their name)
- Help the buyer relocate the cask, if for some reason they require this
- If the buyer wishes to organize bottling for example, VCL Vintners will make the necessary introductions (NOTE: all costs associated are borne by the buyer of the cask, this includes bottling, shipping and duty, any labeling of the bottles are also at the discretion and expense of the buyer)
A World Record Breaker
Poised to break all existing world records for the most expensive whisky cask sold at auction. This cask is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, with the cask being incomparable to the auction records set before it. Explore the timeline of previous sales which earned the world record.
Register Your Interest
For more information about this once in a lifetime event, please contact email@example.com