Design

Beauty in a Bottle

When given as a gift or chosen for a certain occasion, a bottle of spirits is a package deal. Purchased for the liquid they hold, some bottles are beautiful on their own merit—and worthy of being displayed.

Shaun Tolson

Clase Azul Dia de Meurtos

To celebrate the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, Clase Azul has just released 2,000 bottles of a specialty-blended joven tequila housed in a hand-carved ceramic bottle. Painted in a bone-white hue, it is adorned with skulls and marigold flowers, which are believed to help souls of the deceased return to the afterlife. claseazul.com

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep

Wild Turkey’s limited-edition Master’s Keep series marks Eddie Russell’s appointment to co–Master Distiller, following more than three decades of service to the distillery. Each bottle features an embossed glass turkey created from a digitally designed mold that was further enhanced by hand carvings of individual turkey feathers that allude to Russell’s new role, one that allows him to spread his wings. wildturkeybourbon.com

Godet XO Terre Cognac

Although the precious liquid inside this eye-catching bottle is decidedly French, the flint glass container that holds it showcases Italian craftsmanship. The bottle’s overall aesthetic reflects the Godet family’s philosophy on making cognac. The ribbed lines on either side of the bottle represent the roots of the vines, while the central hole reflects the family’s passion for the spirit. As Cyril Godet explains: “Cognac is what surrounds us wherever we go and whatever we do.” cognacgodet.com

Crystal Head Aurora Vodka

Crystal Head Vodka’s aptly shaped bottle has always turned heads (pun intended), but the brand’s Aurora expression stands out for its tribute to the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), which can often be seen in Newfoundland, Canada, where the vodka is distilled. To create its iridescence, the bottle is first sealed in a chamber and electrically charged. Two metallic powders are then activated seven times and released into the pressurized chamber, where the bottle’s electric charge attracts them. The bottle is finally heated to a temperature that melts the powder and creates the unique finish—meaning no two bottles are alike. crystalheadvodka.com

Angostura Legacy

The Art Deco–styled decanter that holds Angostura Legacy is hand-blown from lead-free crystal and artfully crafted by Asprey of London, the official jeweler to the Prince of Wales. Only 20 bottles were created, each requiring more than 50 hours of work by 10 master craftsmen. A sterling silver stopper is adorned with a Trinidadian butterfly, which is meaningful, since the presence of those butterflies in the sugarcane fields alerts growers that the cane is ready for harvest. angostura.com

Bowmore 1957

When Bowmore released this 54-year-old whisky in 2012 it was—and still is—the oldest Islay single malt ever released. To commemorate such an occasion, Glasstorm artists Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns crafted a dozen glass bottles inlaid with flecks of platinum and adorned with hand-blown accents that represent the ocean waves that routinely crash against the sea-facing walls of the distillery’s famous No. 1 vault. bowmore.com

Highland Park 50-Years-Old

The crystal decanter that accompanies this half-century-old single malt whisky is compelling, but the bottle itself is equally captivating. The decorative glass bottle is embossed with a pattern inspired by the carved wooden motif found on the medieval Stave Church in Norway. In particular, the bottle (and church) depict the final battle of Ragnarök, a famous clash of good versus evil in Norse mythology. highlandparkwhisky.com

Johnnie Walker Diamond Jubilee

In 2012, to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th year on the throne, Johnnie Walker produced five dozen Diamond Jubilee bottles. Befitting the occasion, the blended whisky was sold in a diamond-shaped Baccarat crystal decanter made all the more stunning by a Britannia silver collar studded with a half-carat diamond. Two hand-engraved English lead crystal whisky glasses accompanied the decanter. johnniewalker.com

Louis XIII

Embellished with numerous fleurs-de-lys, the symbol of French royalty, each crystal decanter that is hand-blown for Rémy Martin’s most exceptional cognac is unique. The decanter features hand-pinched dentelle spikes and a neck ringed in 20-carat gold. The overall design was inspired by a royal flask found on the battlefield of Jarnac (fought in 1569) and acquired by Paul-Émile Rémy Martin in 1850. louis-xiiicognac.com

Macallan 72-Years-Old

In 2018, The Macallan distillery in Speyside distributed 600 bottles of a 72-year-old single malt around the world. To create an appropriate vessel for its oldest single malt ever released, The Macallan commissioned Lalique to craft The Genesis Decanter, a crystal vessel designed to reflect the curves of the undulating, turf-covered roof of The Macallan’s new distillery—specifically the circular footprint of the estate’s three still houses. themacallan.com