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Macallan unveils whisky collection with Blake artwork

The Macallan has created a new limited edition collection of 1967 whiskies featuring labels designed by English artist Sir Peter Blake.

Macallan's Anecdotes of Ages Collection
Each bottle in the Anecdotes of Ages Collection features artwork designed by Peter Blake

The Anecdotes of Ages Collection comprises 13 ‘one-of-a-kind’ bottles of whisky from 1967. Each bottle was selected for its colourful character to represent the year Blake’s collage style moved into pop culture.

Each bottle in the collection features an original collage from Blake on the label, along with details of Macallan’s history, community and landscape. The Scotch brand has worked with Blake for more than 30 years.

“I am deeply inspired by the incredible legacy of The Macallan, and its emphasis on family, tradition, and the natural world,” said 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.”

The bottles are hand blown with an oak stopper, and have been signed by Blake. The whiskies comes in a European oak case with photography that shows Blake’s journey with The Macallan, along with a leather-bound book and a certificate of authenticity.

The 13th bottle in the collection will remain in The Macallan’s archive. As such, a limited edition whisky with the same label and liquid will be released. There are only 332 bottles of the Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition available worldwide for an SRP of US$83,000.

“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,” 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 flavours of chocolate and lightly spiced peach.”

Furthermore, The Macallan will offer a specially created whisky, called An Estate, A Community and A Distillery, inspired by Blake’s and the brand’s shared appreciation of beauty, nature and legacy. It will be sold for an SRP of US$1,200 in a custom box inspired by Blake’s art, alongside a certificate and a scroll featuring Blake’s artwork.

Macallan's A New Era of Advertising bottle
Sotheby’s will sell the A New Era of Advertising bottle from the collection

Sotheby’s sale

On 13 March 2021, Sotheby’s will host a live auction in New York where one of the 13 original bottles from the new collection will be sold to raise funds to benefit the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum.

Estimated to sell for between US$125,000 and US$750,000, the lot includes a 3D Blake print and a bespoke two-day VIP experience with The Macallan, alongside the bottle. Sotheby’s will sell the A New Era of Advertising bottle from the collection, which features a design that celebrates the people who helped The Macallan brand go global.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist, said: “We are delighted to launch our spring auction season with another partnership between Sotheby’s Wine and The Macallan Distillery. This exclusive bottle from The Macallan’s Anecdotes of Ages series, designed by Sir Peter Blake, represents the age, quality and creative flare that the world’s leading spirits collectors look for in ultra-rare whiskies.”

Furthermore, the new collection marks the first collaboration between The Macallan and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The partnership will include The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit to allow consumers to digitally explore the new collection. The exhibit consists of three galleries and provides a 360 virtual tour through Blake’s studio.

While The Macallan bottling will be the headline sale for Sotheby’s next month, the March auction will also include The Bo Johnston Collection, a huge collection of single malt Scotch accrued in the 1980s by a late South Carolina collector. Many of the bottlings have never appeared at auction before.

The collection contains 550 bottles with a combined estimate of US$450,000. It offers whiskies from independent bottlers, including 184 Cadenhead’s dumpy bottlings distilled in the 1950s and 1960s, and 197 Gordon & MacPhail bottles mainly comprised of 1950s and 1960s vintages from the Connoisseur’s Choice range.

Other whiskies on offer include 11 bottles of Laphroaig 10 Julius Wile, bottled in the late 1970s, 12 bottles of Laphroaig 12 Prime Malt #1, and two bottles of the rare Laphroaig 21 Prime Malt #21.

Furthermore, a bottle of The Macallan 50 Year Old Anniversary Malt 1928 will also be on offer. It was originally released for £50 (US$70) in 1983 and is one of only 500 bottles produced by the Speyside distiller.

Sotheby’s will also offer advanced online bidding ahead of the live auction on 13 March.

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