Art x Whisky blend: The Macallan unveils Anecdotes of Ages Collection
This week, Duty Free & Travel Retailing Magazine was invited to take part in the release of The Macallan’s Anecdotes of Ages Collection. Hosted by Raquel Raies, National Brand Ambassador, the virtual event featured an introductory video, live Q&A session with Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker, and Sir Robert Blake, British Pop Artist, and an invitation to participate in an interactive virtual art exhibit and studio tour to learn more about the artist and explore the collection.
Spanning more than three decades of collaboration, this time around marked The Macallan’s third with the iconic pop artist. The long-standing relationship between the two is based on a mutual respect for craftsmanship and perfection, as well as a strong desire to deliver creative and visionary work. Anecdotes of Ages celebrates The Macallan’s rich legacy and Sir Peter Blake’s remarkable contribution to the art world.
At the heart of this esteemed collection are 13 one-of-a-kind bottles of exceptional 1967 whisky. Described as classic, with a distinctly colorful character, this peerless single malt Scotch has been matured for more than 50 years and carefully selected to represent the year that Sir Peter Blake’s signature collages transcended from art into popular culture.
Each individual bottle features its own original Sir Peter Blake collage art on the label, detailing unique stories relating to The Macallan’s community, history, legacy and the beautiful natural landscape of The Macallan Estate.
Pioneering pop artist Sir Peter Blake is renowned for his highly distinctive collages showing images from popular culture. Best known for his signature crowd work, his diverse style ranges from colorful lettering to likeness drawing. Over the years, his timeless work has transcended fashion, music and dance.
“This collaboration really is a reflection of our history and heritage here at The Macallan. The collaboration with Sir Peter developing art for the outside of the bottle and creating the art that is the whisky on the inside [of the bottle] makes this special and unique. Every one of The Macallan whiskies that we create is different, special and unique in its own way,” shares Burgess.
While swapping stories about the collaboration during the virtual event, both experts in their field jointly agreed that the label of A New Distillery is among their favorites. Presented with a portfolio of images to draw inspiration and work with, Sir Peter says that a group shot of the team captured outside in the perfect lighting allowed the label to easily come together.
As part of The Macallan’s strong support for the arts, which Sir Peter is apt to recognize and give thanks, one of the extremely rare 13 Anecdotes of Ages bottles will be auctioned to raise funds to benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Support from The Macallan will advance efforts underway at the Guggenheim to increase free access and develop engagement with a variety of audiences, in alignment with the museum’s diversity, equity, access and inclusion initiatives. The sale is being conducted by Sotheby’s in March 2021.
“I am deeply inspired by the incredible legacy of The Macallan and its emphasis on family, tradition and the natural world.
Each collage in the Anecdotes of Ages Collection is inspired by The Macallan’s history and heritage, one that respects time and craft, two essential components of my own creative process. I meticulously worked on each collage, pulling from The Macallan Estate’s rich history to complete a collection that is a celebration of art and whisky,” explains Sir Peter Blake.
“This exceptional 1967 whisky was chosen for its classic, yet distinctively colourful character, which is reminiscent of Sir Peter Blake’s work of the same year. With notes of oak and fig leading to a burst of hazelnut and strawberry, this is a truly special single malt that finishes with complex flavors of chocolate and lightly spiced peach. It is in many ways, its own work of art,” adds Burgess.
The exquisite and incredibly rare Anecdotes of Ages Collection will be sought after worldwide by whisky and art lovers alike.
Each of the 13 original bottles are hand-blown with an oak stopper and feature a label signed by Sir Peter Blake. Presented in a handcrafted European oak case with thumbnail photography revealing the artist’s inspirational journey with The Macallan, the expressions are accompanied by a leather-bound book showcasing all 13 label artworks and corresponding stories, as well as a certificate of authenticity.
The following is a series of lifestyle shots of Anecdotes of the Ages by Mary McCartney:
Although the 13th original bottle will be retained in The Macallan archive, a highly limited-edition whisky featuring a duplicate label and the same rare 1967 whisky, will be released as The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition. Only 322 bottles of this kind will be available worldwide, from February. A limited quantity will be available in Global Travel Retail exclusively at The Macallan Boutiques from Q2 2021.
Whisky lovers will also welcome the release of a further special single malt Scotch created to commemorate Sir Peter Blake’s visit to The Macallan Estate on the legendary River Spey. An Estate, A Community and A Distillery is displayed in a custom box inspired by Sir Peter Blake’s art, alongside a certificate outlining the history and heritage on which the art was based. Sir Peter Blake’s artwork printed on a scroll. This edition will be available in domestic markets globally from February and in The Macallan Boutiques and select airports globally from Q2 2021.
The RRSP of The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work is US $65,000/£50,000/€55,000.
The RRSP of An Estate, A Community and A Distillery is US $1,000/ £750/€840.
For further information visit www.themacallan.com.
Whisky Maker’s Notes:
Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition
Colou: Caramelized peach
Aroma: Classic antique oak, dried fruit and fig combined with hints of pineapple and mango layered with a decadent chocolate strawberry note
Palate: Warm chocolate with light nutmeg and ginger, oak spices and sweet oak opening into pineapple and coconut with an unexpected strawberry and hazelnut burst
Finish: Complex with a medium to long finish of chocolate, sweet oak and lightly spiced peach
An Estate, A Community and A Distillery
Aroma: Rich in dried fruits and spices with a hint of orange and clove
Palate: Dried fruits with cracked black pepper and treacle, accents of vanilla and orange oil
Finish: A long, rich oak finish with cinnamon and cacao