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Mortlach Scotch Whisky Kicks Off Designer Collaboration

Luca Nichetto kicks off Mortlach by Design—a series of bespoke drinking accessories designed by renowned international creatives.

By Rachel Gallaher

A hand holds a large glass decanter pouring whisky into a glass.

Luca Nichetto's decanter design for the Mortlach by Design program. Image courtesy of Braden Summers.

Last week Mortlach Whisky announced the launch of a new project: Mortlach by Design, with the release of a bespoke whisky decanter, SEI, from Italian designer Luca Nichetto. Mortlach—a Scottish distillery that dates to 1823—is known for its powerful yet refined taste, and the malt has been a key component in the blends of some of the world’s most widely distributed whiskies, including the best-selling and widely known Johnnie Walker. Through the Mortlach by Design program, the distillery will partner with some of the world’s top designers on customized products mean to add elevate the whisky-drinking experience.

“I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with whisky’s best kept secret, Mortlach, on the design of a bespoke decanter for the Mortlach by Design program,” Nichetto writes in his design statement. As a creative, I love getting outside my comfort zone, and challenging myself in new ways. I have never designed a decanter, so it allowed me to use glass—my favorite medium and a liquid unto itself—in new and different ways.”

A bald man in a black sweatshirt and glasses stands at a marble table that has a decanter of whisky on it.

Design Luca Nichetto with his SEI decanter.

The SEI decanter (sei, meaning “six” in Italian) is made from handblown Murano glass and has a hexagonal base that serves as a pedestal for the liquid-holding body. The entire piece has a sanded finish meant to accentuate the color of the liquid within—in the case of the whisky, it creates a hue that almost exactly matches the amber tone popular in Murano glass.

“In learning about the six stills (used [by Mortlach] to craft the whisky) that serve as the foundation for the liquid’s bold and complex taste, I visualized the process—liquid moving through these incredible structures—and wanted to bring that to life in my design,” Nichetto notes. “The six stills evoked a hexagon, the perfect geometric shape, which became the base of my decanter. From there, the shape grows into an organic form, mysterious and natural, much like the Mortlach liquid itself.”

A man in a black sweatshirt takes the lid off of a frost glass decanter.

The SEI decanter is made from handblown Murano glass.

The Mortlach by Design series will release additional custom designs throughout the year from creatives including Joe Doucet and Sabine Marcelis, and others.


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