When you’re a house-builder, specifying everything from internal door kits to plug sockets for your UK projects can feel like a never-ending task. However, when it all comes together, you know it’s been worth it in creating a great space.
Undoubtedly, there’s an ever-changing list of ‘must-haves’ from those looking to make their home perfect, and nowadays, this list is made up of a lot of ideas for creating the best space for entertaining. From cocktail bars to wine cabinets, even so far as spectacular spiral wine cellars, can be found in almost all of the most discerning kitchen spaces right now. However, there may be a new kid on the block if you really want to keep up with the Jones.
So-called ‘whisky walls’ are trumping wine storage designs to become the newest trend in luxury interiors, according to the Telegraph. Partly, this comes from a growing demand and valuation of whisky. Numbers from luxury estate agents Knight Frank, show that in 2018, the asset value of whisky grew 40 per cent, compared to just nine per cent for wine, while classic cars, art and watches don’t even come near.
Sukhinder Singh, founder of The Whisky Exchange, says that some of his more high-end customers can easily accumulate huge collections that need to be housed in their homes: “People get tempted by a single cask that will run out, so they feel they have to buy it quickly,” he explains. “Before they know it, they have amassed a small collection of 200 or 300 bottles and are turning their entire living rooms into museums to whisky.”
From the perspective of a designer, architect and builder, the challenges that come with creating space for a whisky wall, compared to a wine cellar or cabinet, are actually fewer and far between. Wine storage relies on stable conditions, so materials that filter light that would otherwise damage the ageing process, and a refrigerator that works to specific temperature and humidity levels, are just the starts of your problems. You also need to look at incorporating in technology that minimises vibration, as even the smallest amount could disturb sediment in the wine, causing flavours to separate inside the bottle.
When it comes to designing a spot for a ‘whisky wall’, the first thing you need to think about is location. Storing it too close to windows or sources of heat could cause the flavour to deteriorate.
Unlike wine, whisky shouldn’t be stored on its side. It should be kept upright in storage (but important to note it needs to be tipped on its side a few hours a year in order to keep the cork wet).
And, while decanters may be an attractive idea for storing whisky, they should only really be used for a bottle you’re going to finish in a sitting or so, as over exposure to oxygen can also affect the taste.
Apart from that, you can be pretty free with your design and, with whiskeys fast becoming the hot new collectable, something that shows them off to their full potential is sure to be a big drawer for whisky fans.