Whisky distributor uses NFTs and AI to sell 50-year-old collection


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Scotland-based distillery The Glenlivet has turned to nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and artificial intelligence (AI) to help sell bottles of a 50-year-old whisky priced at around $43,000 per bottle. 

On Feb. 13, the company announced that it will be selling 12 bottles from a whiskey collection that has been maturing at the Speyside distillery in Scotland since 1974. The alcohol distributor used AI to generate unique labels for each of the bottles in the collection and is using a blockchain-based marketplace to allow traceability and provenance for selling rare spirits.

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Digital demonstration of the whisky collection. Source: The Glenlivet 

The sales will be conducted through a marketplace called The Whisky Exchange Cabinet, which uses NFTs and blockchain to create digital certificates of authenticity and ownership for each bottle of whiskey they sell. 

In a previous interview with The Drinks Business, The Whisky Exchange CEO Nicolas Oudinot said many projects have been coming into the market focusing on NFTs. However, the executive claimed The Whisky Exchange is going “the other way around” by focusing on selling rare bottles of whisky, with the technology assisting in the endeavor.

The Glenlivet’s cask expert, Kevin Balmforth, said the collection represents a “look to the future” as the distillery commemorates 200 years in business. According to the announcement, the products will be sold on Feb. 21.

While the intersection between blockchain and alcohol may be an interesting combination, this is not the first interaction between the two industries. As early as 2019, projects have been experimenting with the integration of blockchain and alcohol. On July 5, 2019, beer brewery BrewDog allowed investors to buy shares with cryptocurrencies, extending its crowdfunding initiative.

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In 2022, Munich-based MetaBrewSociety offered voting rights on the business decisions of a physical brewery using NFTs and a decentralized autonomous organization, with “beer share” certificates providing different levels of governance rights to a brewery in Munich.

In 2023, mobile phone company Nokia started developing metaverse use cases that connected breweries remotely. Using augmented reality, brewery tech lab researchers in Australia worked alongside researchers from a facility in Germany.

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