The spirit of whisky can move each of us in mysterious ways. It has been known to make grown men cry. Having experienced our “synergetic elixirs” for the first time when visiting earlier this year, craftsman Sean McDonald-Stewart was so moved as to create a set of beautiful sculptured wind chimes out of reclaimed casks, metal and deer antler, each inspired by and named after Bruichladdich drams that “spoke to me”.
He has called his collection, which thus far comprises embodiments of Octomore and Port Charlotte, “The Spirit and The Spirituality.” With these chimes Sean strives to give physical expression to the transcendent qualities of each dram and he hopes to create five in all.
Having shared a dram of Octomore Islay Barley with our good friend and farmer, James Brown, up at its namesake farm where the barley was grown, Sean was inspired to create a chime as robust and mighty as that whisky – the staves that bracket the chimes are from a 500 litre puncheon cask. He has brought femininity, too, in the gentle curve of the staves, which echoes the shape of the Octomore whisky’s distinctive bottle. As with all of Sean’s creations, the Octomore is imbued with the essence of his Celtic or Gael sacredness.
The Octomore has three chimes, “three being the most scared number to the Celts, symbolising past, present and future”. It is suspended from four ropes, representing the “Celtic Airts or winds” – the four points of the compass. “The sound,” says Sean, “has a delicious undercurrent to it, like the dram. The chime talks of earth, air, fire and water. It talks of true Terroir, saying “I am the hunter-gatherer on the Isle of Islay. Let me share my wisdom, so you can reclaim your beginnings, your place of well-being”.