Earlier this month, Massimo Bottura marked a first in his career: He announced the opening of the Maria Luigia Inn, a charming 12-room, three-story Italian hotel that he will run with his wife, Lara Gilmore, when it opens this spring. This week, the venerable chef and restaurateur marks another first as he forays into the spirits world with the debut of a 49-year-old single malt scotch whisky, created in collaboration with The Dalmore, one of the most well-respected distilleries in the world.
Bottura and The Dalmore’s Master Distiller Richard Paterson are the brains behind The Dalmore L’Anima Aged 49 Years, a rare and aged bottling that will be auctioned to one lucky person at Sotheby’s in an online sale later this spring. Running April 25 through May 9, all proceeds will benefit Bottura’s non-profit organization, Food For Soul, which empowers communities to fight food waste through social inclusion and partnerships.
“When Master Distiller Richard Paterson and I met in Modena, it was a true meeting of the minds,” Bottura says. “Our creative processes seamlessly fused together with our passion and deep understanding of flavor complexity and connection to create a very special bottle that brings together some of the most precious scotch whisky barrels in the world.”
The Dalmore L’Anima, which means “soul” in Italian, includes a chocolate orange profile, which The Dalmore is historically known for, while also incorporating flavors reminiscent of Bottura’s award-winning Italian kitchen.
“Bottura’s approach to deconstructing and reinventing daring food pairings is very similar to the way I approach whisky making,” Paterson says. “The coming together of our passions allowed me to create a whisky that is bold, different, full of warmth, and completely unforgettable. It is a true reflection of the love and blood that unites us.”
On the nose, Bottura’s single malt features exotic aromas of sun-kissed raisins, bitter chocolate, and old English marmalade. As for the flavor, there are hints of coffee, Demerara sugar, pecan pie, and crème brûlée, with finishing notes of Sanguinello blood oranges, treacle, and figs. The natural strength whisky, with a 41.5 percent ABV, will placed inside a crystal decanter with a sterling silver collar, a stopper, a silver stag, and an engraving, and presented in a handcrafted cabinet made from Italian olive wood, American black walnut, and solid ebony by Scottish craftsman John Galvin.
Awarded to the highest bidder, The Dalmore L’Anima will be accompanied by dinner for two at Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena. If you’re not in the running, display bottles will be available for viewing at Sotheby’s in New York and Hong Kong until April 29, coinciding with the original lot being unveiled at Sotheby’s in London.
“We are excited to partner with The Dalmore and Massimo Bottura to offer this unique bottle, that only one person in the world will possess, treasure, and enjoy,” says Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine. “With the no reserve format, we anticipate lively bidding from the moment the auction opens on April 8 and look forward to helping raise important funds for Food For Soul, with the announcement of the final price on May 9.”
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