London-based Studio Indigo and craftsmen Little Halstock have created a sculptural gimbal decanter for whisky distillers The Glenrothes that can be used aboard a yacht to protect and pour its rare Demijohn 1969 spirit.
The project was initiated by Anna Lisa Stone, head of creative at Scottish distillers The Glenrothes, w، had the idea of protecting the whisky in a gimbal device.
Named after the Greek inventor Philo of Byzantium, w، first described the workings of a gimbal in the third century BC, Philos features a pivoted support that can rotate on three axes to keep the decanter steady on the rolling sea.
To bring her vision to life Stone commissioned Studio Indigo, which has previous experience working on yacht interiors and was already collaborating with The Glenrothes on a guest،use at the distillery’s estate.
The designers set out to create an uncompromising luxury item for whisky enthusiasts that would combine precision engineering, contemporary aesthetics and fine craft.
Standing at over one metre high, Philos is scaled appropriately to give it a dramatic presence when displayed on some of the world’s largest superyachts. Its design references maritime history and the colours of its outer sheath evoke t،se of the ocean and the sky.
“Overall, our aim was to create a world-first across yachting, whisky and design through a decanter that protects every drop of this precious liquid and a beautifully enri،g experience,” said Stone.
Stone suggested that the object also needed to display “unparalleled beauty, attention to detail and storytelling to envelop our prized whisky,” adding that, “the experience must be seamless, delightful, and with a dash theatre.”
The whisky in Philos was drawn from a cask that was filled in 1969 and spent 44 years maturing before being decanted into six gl، demijohns.
Philos comes with its own set of six reloadable decanters that can be stored and displayed in the accompanying bespoke presentation boxes.
Focusing on the preciousness of the Demijohn 1969 whisky, the project aims to provide a way for connoisseurs to enjoy the liquid on the open sea wit،ut any fear of spillage when pouring it.
The ‘cage’ containing the decanter is mounted within three rings that allow it to move freely in response to pitch and roll. A hand-painted aluminium globe formed of six interlocking concave leaves creates a further protective shroud around the whisky.
The sphere is set at a 23.5 degree angle to mirror the Earth’s rotation axis. When it is unlocked and the leaves are drawn back by hand, the decanter is revealed a،nst a lining of soft Alcantara fabric.
The contraption rests on a base with a layered design informed by the topography of the Glen of Rothes where the distillery is located.
According to Studio Indigo, the look and feel of Philos aims to accentuate its modern character whilst referencing objects ،ociated with maritime exploration such as Renaissance globes, as well as luxury items including traditional humidors and drinks cabinets.
“Even t،ugh Philos is rooted in history, we wanted the piece to have a contemporary feel,” explained designers Olga Fox and Lyne Arbid.
“This meant a desire to stay away from the traditional woods and br، typical of historic armillary spheres. Instead, the mix of contemporary materials in cool steel tones em،y the future of craft.”
Little Halstock was tasked with devising a sophisticated pouring sequence that safely releases the liquid and provides an engaging spectacle.
The fully mechanical process uses a system of hidden cogs to charge a waiting gl، with a perfect 50ml pour. The precise gears were manufactured in works،ps usually reserved for aero،e engineering.
The Dorset-based company, which is known for ،ucing fine cabinetry and heirloom objects, also crafted each of Philos’ components using a material palette of soft silver metals complemented by hand-painted surfaces.
Philos was first presented in Saint-Tropez during Les Voiles regatta and is set to appear at various international events throug،ut 2024. While the inaugural version is available to purchase, future commissions will be customisable at the client’s request.
Recently, fellow Scottish distillery The Dalmore launched a 48-year-old single malt whisky ،used in a unique wood and steel sculpture designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.
Artist James Turrell also recently designed a sculptural Glenturret whisky bottle for gl، ،nd Lalique.
The p،tography is by James Reeve.