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The Balvenie design team brought the concept to us: a wooden tube; a leather overlay; inscription; a replica copper dog enclosed; a booklet telling the story of how the whisky got its name; magnetic closers; hidden hinges.


Tale of The Dog is a Balvenie Distillery Stories whisky.  This story is one of the copper pipe, called the dog to surreptitiously syphon whisky from the cask. The tale is the true story told by Balvenie coppersmith of over 50 years, Dennis McBain. 


It was a technically demanding commission for 232 units. One of the  challenges on the interior was to make it appear that the bottle was secured in the centre of the tube when in fact it had to be off centre to make space for the copper dog. It was a never-make-contact distance from the bottle.  We also additionally had to secure the booklet but retain the easy to remove and replace element.


The key exterior challenge was to conceal the edges of the leather and achieve a consistent surface even where the leather was folded underneath.  The resulting challenge of a pliable material meeting a rigid material.   


The finished product has a satisfying feel of completeness. This is achieved through the mixed materials which give texture and colour. It’s also the elements of surprise:  the bright copper inside; the twists of the copper dog story; the booklet; the tubular shape and way it opens and shuts with hidden magnetic closers that have a satisfying definite sense of opening and closing securely. 


We worked with an impressive array of people and companies.  Here Design, the design house of all The Balvenie whiskies, developed the original concept.


We selected premium grade European oak from Duffield Timber for its uniform grain. For one off pieces or commissions, where uniformity is less important, we might select British oak which tends to have a quirkier, less predictable grain.


The Scottish Leather Group supplied the digitally printed leather.  Their leather is supreme quality (they count Aston Martin among their clients) and we admire their commitment to sustainability. They produce the world’s lowest carbon leather.  They were also able to apply the print during production before the final finish.  This means the printing is super crisp and durable.


The copper pipe was made by Zone Creations in Wimbledon.

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