At the end of 2021, NFTs have taken over every corner of the market. Art, fashion, music and media have all jumped into the digital ownership frontier, and so it is with the world of wine and spirits—but we bet you haven’t seen a spirit NFT quite like this.
Dictador has been making fine Colombian rum for more than 100 years, but that doesn’t mean the seasoned spirit maker is too old for new tricks. In November, the company auctioned an ultra-rare, 45-year-old vintage via non-fungible token. Now, it’s upping the ante, offering rum lovers and art collectors a unique prize in collaboration with French pop art sculptor Richard Orlinski.
The project, dubbed Dictador Orlinski 5 Decades, celebrates the rum maker's legacy by encasing five annual vintages in sculptural bottles that represent corresponding decades of the artist's work. Rums from 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006 are encased in shimmering and vibrant geometric gorilla bottles, inspired by specific sculptures in Orlinski’s Wild Kong series.
The unique bottles are paired with NFTs, three of which will be sold via the NFT wine and spirits platform BlockBar on Dec. 23, at a price of 11 ETH, which translates to about $45,486.10 at press time.
“Rum, as a category, has seen tremendous growth in recent years and has proven to be an emerging sector in the spirits world,” says Dov Falic, co-founder and CEO of BlockBar. “We’re delighted to have sold one of the world’s most expensive rums on BlockBar.com through the Richard Orlinski and Dictador collaboration. We are excited to go live with our final few drops of this special, limited edition offering.”
While more than a few spirits companies have auctioned rare bottles or whole casks of goods via NFTs, the sculptural bottles and intrinsic artistic value of this offering is rare indeed. Once purchased, the NFT will serve as a means of authentication for the owner, who can then claim the physical bottle in the real world, or hold onto the NFT for later sale on the BlockBar platform. Any future sale of the NFT would effectively exchange ownership or the real, physical bottle.
“I truly believe that blockchain technology will change the future of art,” Orlinski says. “It can offer new tools to manage, to exchange and to connect through art. Eager for novelty and in the continuity of the partnership with Dictador, I am delighted to develop through this collaboration an innovative project.”
Learn more about the Dictador Orlinski 5 Decades series at dictador.com.
Photography by: Courtesy of Dictador; Richard Orlinksi