On May 25 and 26, The Macallan unveiled the Anecdotes of Ages Collection, an extraordinary art and whisky collaboration with globally renowned British pop artist, Sir Peter Blake, at the opulent K11 Musea.
The collaboration, which is The Macallan’s third with the iconic artist and is part of a relationship which has spanned more than three decades, celebrates The Macallan’s rich legacy and Sir Peter Blake’s remarkable contribution to the art world.
At the heart of the exhibition is the expression “The Giant and The Fish’, one of the esteemed 13 one-of-a-kind bottles of the exceptional 1967 whisky. Classic but with a distinctly colourful character, this peerless single malt Scotch has been matured for more than 50 years and was carefully selected to represent the year that Sir Peter Blake’s signature collages transcended from art into popular culture. In the exhibition one would also see a full display of the labels of the other 12 bottles, created by Sir Peter Blake and photographed by Mary McCartney.
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.
Prolifically creative, Sir Peter Blake is renowned for his highly distinctive collages featuring images from popular culture. His diverse style ranges from colourful lettering to likeness drawing, but he remains best known for his signature crowd work. Over many decades, his unique and timeless style has transcended fashion, music, and even art movements.
The long-held relationship between The Macallan and Sir Peter Blake is based on a mutual respect for craftsmanship as well as a strong desire to deliver truly original and visionary work. In 1986 he collaborated with The Macallan to create a bespoke label for The Macallan 1926 taking inspiration from the events of the era. In 2012, The Macallan and Sir Peter Blake collaborated again to create a unique, limited edition art piece in celebration of his 80th birthday and decades of collaborating with The Macallan.
As part of The Macallan’s strong support for the arts, one of the extremely scarce 13 Anecdotes of Ages bottles is being 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 was conducted by Sotheby’s in March 2021 and raised a staggering proceed of US$437,500 to support Guggenheim.
Sir Peter Blake said: “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.”
Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “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 flavours of chocolate and lightly spiced peach. It is in many ways, its own work of art.”
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 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 one of the original bottles 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.
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, and Sir Peter Blake’s artwork printed on a scroll.
The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition and the An Estate, A Community and A Distillery will both be available from June 2021.
Whisky Maker’s Notes:
Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition
Colour: Caramelised 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
About The Macallan
Founded in 1824, The Macallan is renowned worldwide for its extraordinary single malt whiskies. Their outstanding quality and distinctive character reveal the uncompromised excellence pursued by The Macallan since it was established by Alexander Reid on a plateau above the River Spey in north-east Scotland.
In 2018, The Macallan opened a new chapter in its history with the launch of its award-winning Speyside distillery. Designed by internationally acclaimed architects to promote sustainability, the building takes inspiration from the surrounding ancient Scottish hills. It stands nearby Easter Elchies House, the Highland Manor built in 1700 which is The Macallan’s spiritual home and remains the heartbeat of The Macallan’s beautiful 485-acre Estate.
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About Sir Peter Blake
Sir Peter Blake (b. 1932, Dartford, Kent) is a British painter, sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker. He is known as one of the leading figures of British Pop art. Peter Blake studied at Gravesend School of Art before being accepted into the Royal College of Art, London, where he studied alongside other key British Pop artists, David Hockney, R.B. Kitaj, Joe Tilson, Allen Jones, Peter Phillips and Derek Boshier. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1956, Blake began to appropriate pop culture icons and advertising imagery to create homages to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Elvis Presley and professional wrestlers. His iconic 1961 ‘Self-portrait with Badges’, in the Tate Collection, shows Blake holding an Elvis album, dressed in American jeans, Converse trainers, and baseball badges; here is the artist as a genuine fan. In other works, he composes assemblages of found objects with humorous allusions to art history and childhood fantasies. In 1967 he designed the iconic album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in his distinctive style of collage. Blake continues to be associated with the music world by designing album covers. In 1975 Blake co-founded the Brotherhood of Ruralists, a group of artists who moved to Somerset to build an artistic community outside of the city.
After completing his National Service with the RAF, he received the Leverhulme Research Award to study popular art and travelled through Europe 1956–7. Blake’s first solo exhibition was held in 1962 at Portal Gallery, London; solo shows followed at Robert Fraser Gallery, London (1965) and at Leslie Waddington Prints, London (1969). His first retrospective exhibition was held in 1969 at the City Art Gallery, Bristol. Subsequent retrospectives were held in 1973 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, touring to Hamburg and Brussels and the Tate Gallery in 1983. In 1994 he was made the Third Associate Artist of the National Gallery, London. Peter Blake was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1981, and was knighted in 2002. In 2007 the Tate Liverpool held a major retrospective of Peter Blake’s work which toured to the Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Spain in 2008. In 2010, Lund Humphries published Peter Blake: One Man Show, a comprehensive monograph by Marco Livingstone.
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Sotheby’s Wine’s has had the privilege of auctioning numerous record-breaking wines and spirits in recent years, with 2020 alone witnessing new world auction records for any bottle of Japanese
whisky, any bottle of whisky produced by the Dalmore Distillery, as well as any bottle of Cognac. Sotheby’s Wine currently holds the world records for any whisky collection ever sold at auction, any private wine collection ever sold at auction, the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction and the most expensive bottle of spirits ever sold at auction.
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About the Guggenheim
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1937 and is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The international constellation of museums comprises the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. An architectural icon and “temple of spirit” where radical art and architecture meet, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is among a group of eight Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the United States recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To learn more about the museum and the Guggenheim’s activities around the world, visit guggenheim.org.