It’s not a stretch to say that whisky and art have a lot in common. Both require infinite skill on the part of its creators; and to be fully enjoyed, keen senses and an appreciation of story and craftsmanship. No wonder then that whisky maker The Macallan continually seeks out artists to collaborate with.
Prints and labels contributed by artists the likes of Michael Dillon, Javi Aznarez and photographer Annie Leibovitz have found themselves on many a special edition bottle, much to the delight of collectors. The tradition continues with Sir Peter Blake, as The Macallan launches the Anecdotes of Ages Collection and also welcomes all to experience the accompanying exhibition that celebrates the legacies of both distiller and artist.
Even if you aren’t too fond of contemporary art, you’ll likely be familiar with some of Blake’s work. He’s responsible for The Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover as well as artwork for the Band Aid single Do They Know It’s Christmas. Knighted in 2002 for his services to art, Blake is often thought of as the grandfather of British pop art. Since the 89-year-old’s work is so often inexplicably linked to pop culture, The Macallan has chosen a whisky from 1967 — the year the Sgt. Pepper album was released — to fill the 13 bottles that make up the Anecdotes of Ages Collection.
Each hand-blown, one-of-a-kind bottle features an original art piece on the label, is topped with an oak stopper and presented in a handcrafted European oak case. The impressive housing is accompanied by thumbnail photography capturing Blake’s journey with The Macallan, a leather-bound book with all 13 label artworks, and a certificate of authenticity. “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,” said Blake. “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.”
Two of the 13 bottles have already been spoken for: one is being retained by The Macallan for its archives, and the other was auctioned off by Sotheby’s for US$437,500 ($588,000) in March, with the proceeds going to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Singapore will host the “The Old Farm” edition at the upcoming exhibition.
Running from 29 June to 9 July 2021 at The Macallan at Raffles Arcade, the Sir Peter Blake: The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection Gallery will bring guests on a journey that begins in a re-creation of Blake’s studio in London before delving into various art installations that bring to life the themes that inspired the collection.
If the experience leaves you wanting a piece of this spirited art history, The Macallan is offering the Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition, which features a re-created label and the same rare 1967 whisky. Based on its description by The Macallan’s lead whisky maker, it’s well worth the $89,800 price tag. “This exceptional 1967 whisky was chosen for its classic yet distinctly 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 flavours of chocolate and lightly spiced peach. It is in many ways, its own work of art,” said Sarah Burgess.
Only 322 bottles of the Down to Work Limited Edition are available globally, with an extremely limited quantity available for purchase upon enquiry at The Macallan at Raffles Hotel Singapore. Additionally, the distillery has released another, more accessible special edition — An Estate, A Community and A Distillery — priced at $1,350 to commemorate the artist’s visit to The Macallan Estate. Included in the box is a certificate outlining the distillery’s heritage, and an artwork print. This, too, will be available at the brand’s Raffles Hotel boutique, as well as selected leading premium retailers in Singapore.
Visit themacallan.com/en-sg/sirpeterblakegallery to reserve your experience to the Sir Peter Blake: The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection Gallery.
Raffles Arcade at Raffles Hotel Singapore, 328 North Bridge Road, #01-04 to 10; instagram.com/themacallan_singapore; facebook.com/themacallan.sg