Good things are worth waiting for. That’s why it took over a year’s production for Glenmorangie to finally reveal a line of surfboards repurposed out of its used whisky casks. In partnership with Grain Surfboards of Maine, New England USA, these hand-built wooden surfboards join the cast of the Scotch brand’s Beyond the Cask creative collaborations.
Glenmorangie Original’s signature white oak casks can only be used twice in the process of whisky ageing — that’s how the Scotch maintains its complex flavour. It seems like a waste to get rid of the perfectly good quality wood afterwards, which is how the Beyond the Cask series came about.
This marks the third chapter in Glenmorangie’s Beyond the Cask series, with the first one being sunglasses in collaboration with British brand Finlay & Co. in 2016, and the second edition in 2017 featured bicycles in collaboration with Portland’s Renovo Hardwood Bicycles. Naturally, both collaborations utilised wood from the casks that were once used to age Glenmorangie whisky.
“People often ask us what happens to those casks after their whisky-making life is over. Beyond the Cask is our way of working with people who share our creative vision, passion, and patience, to take this wood on another step in its journey,” said Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks.
This time around, the whisky casks have been reimagined as limited-edition surfboards made out of reclaimed staves from Glenmorangie barrels. One might wonder what connection does the New England surfboard maker have with a Scottish whisky brand. Plenty, actually.
For starters, these two brands take craftsmanship very seriously: Glenmorangie has been perfecting the art of whisky-making for over 175 years, while Grain Surfboards has taken boat-building techniques to craft their surfboards. Both brands take on an affinity to the qualities of wood, and both take a good amount of time to produce some of the best quality products in the world. Finally, both New England and the Scottish Highlands are famous for their surfing waters.
These limited-edition Glenmorangie Original surfboards are handmade and “bookmatched” to ensure that there are matching continuous patterns on the wood. Each surfboard is crafted with Grain Surfboards’ signature material — Maine northern white cedar — and reclaimed western red cedar and wood from 12 oak staves.
“We’re both strong brands with true craftsmanship at our core, so we were thrilled to work with Glenmorangie on this project. It’s incredible that you can take a piece of wood that’s already worked hard and then give it a new life as something absolutely beautiful,” said Grain Surfboards founder Mike LaVecchia.