The Macallan has unveiled The Anecdotes of Ages Collection, a limited-release Whisky and art collection with renowned British pop artist Sir Peter Blake. The Anecdotes of Ages Collection celebrates the legacy and history of Sir Peter Blake and the iconic Speyside distillery.
At the heart of the esteemed collection are 13 one-of-a-kind bottles of exceptional 1967 whisky, chosen for its classic yet distinctly colorful character representative of the year that Sir Peter Blake’s collage style transcended the art world into pop culture. Each individual bottle features its own original Sir Peter Blake collage art on the label, detailing unique stories relating to The Macallan’s history, community, and the beautiful natural landscape of The Macallan Estate. One of the original bottles will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in support of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s diversity, equity, access, and inclusion initiatives.
Collaborating with Sir Peter Blake for more than three decades, this esteemed collection is a natural partnership: The Macallan holds a deep appreciation for the time it takes to establish, nurture, and protect heritage as well as a desire to produce iconic creations and legendary pieces, and these values of timelessness are mirrored in both the character and work of Sir Peter Blake.
Over the decades, Sir Peter Blake’s unique and timeless signature style has transcended fashion, music, and art movements. For this collection, each bottle of Scotch Whisky was carefully selected and the art labels that Sir Peter Blake created are designed to resonate with The Macallan collectors and the world of art. Sir Peter Blake applies his particular mix of styles, from colorful lettering to likeness drawing, to various projects—most recently, the building wrap for Hyde Parks Mandarin Oriental Hotel, his largest yet, and his current project ‘Joseph Cornell’s Holiday,’ a series of crowd collages that continue the life of a fellow collagist.
“I am deeply inspired by the incredible legacy of The Macallan, and its emphasis on family, tradition, and the natural world,” said Sir Peter Blake. “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.”
Each of the 13 original Anecdotes of Ages bottles are hand-blown with an oak stopper, and feature a label signed by Sir Peter Blake. Presented in a handcrafted European oak case incorporating thumbnail photography revealing Sir Peter Blake’s inspirational journey with The Macallan, the expressions are also accompanied by a leather-bound book showcasing all 13 label artworks and corresponding stories, as well as a certificate of authenticity. While 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 will be available worldwide for a price of $83,000.
“This exceptional 1967 whisky was chosen for its classic yet distinctively colorful character, which is reminiscent of Sir Peter Blake’s work of the same year,” said Sarah Burgess, The Macallan Lead Whisky Maker. “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.”
To round out the collection, a specially created Whisky inspired by The Macallan and Sir Peter Blake’s shared appreciation of beauty, nature and legacy – An Estate, A Community and A Distillery – will be sold for $1,200 displayed in a custom box inspired by Blake’s art, alongside a certificate outlining the art’s history and heritage, and the artist’s work printed on a scroll.
The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit is a virtual exploration where art and Whisky enthusiasts from around the world have an opportunity to digitally explore The Anecdotes of Ages Collection. Consisting of three galleries, this 360 virtual environment is part of a global trend that sees the expansion of digital art experiences.
Digital attendees of The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit will begin their journey in the Sir Peter Blake studio where they will learn about his famous pioneering pop art and collage style. Next, they will explore the Anecdotes of Ages gallery, showcasing the inspiration behind each of the artworks that Blake created to tell the story of 13 bottles of The Macallan—from The Macallan’s spiritual home at Easter Elchies Estate to the new Distillery and Visitor Experience—before the world reveal of the bottles with Blake’s handcrafted and original label artwork.
In March 2021, Sotheby’s will host a live auction where one of the 13 original bottles of The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection will be sold 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.
Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine remarked “We are delighted to continue our long association of partnering with The Macallan to present very special releases that raise funds for charitable organizations around the world. The Anecdotes of Ages Collection provides the perfect intersection where Sir Peter Blake’s distinct collage art meets the art of creating great whisky, with proceeds supporting diverse audience engagement and free access at the Guggenheim Museum. This unique auction, of one of the 13 bottles with original collage art, will appeal to whisky enthusiasts, art lovers, and philanthropists alike.”
A beautiful caramelized peach in color, The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition offers aromas of classic antique oak, dried fruit and fig combined with hints of pineapple and mango layered with a decadent chocolate strawberry note. The palate delivers warm chocolate with light nutmeg and ginger, oak spices and sweet oak opening into pineapple and coconut with an unexpected strawberry and hazelnut burst. The finish is complex with a medium to long finish of chocolate, sweet oak and lightly spiced peach. It is bottled at 46.7% ABV.
A handsome cinnamon in color, the An Estate, A Community and A Distillery Whisky offers aromas rich in dried fruits and spices with a hint of orange and clove. The palate delivers dried fruits with cracked black pepper and treacle, accents of vanilla and orange oil. The long, rich oak finish features cinnamon and cacao. It is bottled at 47.7% ABV.
It would be so fun to see this artwork displayed on the bottles – yet another reason to go shopping for a bottle of Macallan. Even better would be to see the inspirations that your article speaks of —- the auction itself would also be fun to observe. Macallan had me at the beautiful wooden boxes but how wonderful would it be to see the artwork!!!