Metacask and Grace O’Malley Irish Whiskey unveil digitally connected bottles

Metacask and Grace O’Malley Irish Whiskey unveil digitally connected bottles Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

In an industry first, Grace O’Malley Irish whiskey and street artist KinMx have joined forces with Metacask, the blockchain-powered spirits marketplace, to launch THE GRACE – a limited collection of digitally connected bottles.

Together, the 501 bottles form an awe-inspiring 6 x 4.5m mural of Ireland’s legendary pirate queen, Grace O’Malley. This is the final ‘reveal’ in an exciting year-long creative partnership that uniquely combines art, whiskey and technology to bring Irish contemporary culture and heritage to the forefront.

It is described as “a rare opportunity for collectors and whiskey lovers to own a one-of-a-kind piece of decentralised artwork from this renowned artist, a prominent figure on the Irish art scene”.

Created first as a street mural in Dublin, KinMx’s artwork idolising this symbolic female leader, has been recreated across a canvas of 501 matt black Grace O’Malley whiskey bottles before being filled with a 13 year-old single grain Irish Whiskey with Amarone Finish. Each individually numbered bottle is a unique piece of art and can be purchased as an non-fungible token (NFT) on the Metacask platform. Collectors can choose to hold the product digitally, trade it or redeem the NFT from the 1st December 2023, receiving the physical bottle in time for Christmas. As each bottle is enabled with Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, collectors can simply tap their bottle with a smartphone to verify authenticity and ownership, unlock their artwork and reveal the legend of this infamous Irish pirate queen. 

CEO of Metacask, Rob Hollands, said: “This is a really exciting partnership which brings genuine innovation to the spirits industry. We’re combining creativity and technology to connect with consumers beyond the bottle and tell a powerful brand story. As the NFT space matures we’re unlocking genuine uses of the technology, delivering unique and meaningful experiences for consumers and new forms of ownership and rewards. The Web3 approach rewards everyone involved, from producer to content creator, and in this case the artist, all the way through to the end consumer.”

Heather Clancy, brand manager for Grace O’Malley Irish Whiskey, said: “We are committed to establishing a genuine long-term relationship with the Irish Art Community and see the launch of THE GRACE collection as a fully collaborative venture that showcases the very best of Ireland’s creative talent. Famously known for her rebellious spirit and unquenchable thirst for freedom, fairness and justice, Grace O’Malley is regarded as one of the world’s most extraordinary female trailblazers.  We think the uniqueness of THE GRACE collection does her justice. It’s befitting of her trailblazer reputation with the calibre of the artistic talent involved and innovative use of technology.”

While the bottles that make up THE GRACE collection are said to be beautiful in their own right,  the whiskey itself is a very special release. Matured in first fill American bourbon casks, the whiskey was transferred into Amarone Della Valpolicella barrels and refined for a period of two years. The characteristically intense dark red fruit flavour of the Amarone imparts a delightful fruity richness to an already delectable whiskey. The casks were hand selected by Grace O’Malley’s renowned Master Blender Paul Caris, during his visits to the stunning Veneto region, which sits in the foothills of The Alps.

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