Pernod Ricard Chivas Brothers has unveiled The Age Collection – a tribute to time, legacy and longevity – from Royal Salute Scotch whisky. Comprising 10 distinctive blends with the youngest containing whiskies 21 years or older and the oldest containing whiskies at least 30 years old, The Age Collection gives a taste of the passage of time and its effects on whisky. All the expressions in the collection are bespoke, handcrafted one-off whiskies.
British designers Sally Mackereth from Studio Mackereth architects, and craft workshop Jack Badger were commissioned to create a bespoke handcrafted plinth carved using 8,000 year old Neolithic wood taken from ancient river beds in Croatia.
Each blend is presented in a dark blue, Dartington crystal decanter.
Vadim Grigorian, global brand director, Royal Salute says: “The Age Collection combines timeless tradition with contemporary understanding to create a celebration of longevity in the year Queen Elizabeth becomes Britain’s longest serving monarch. As sources of the naturally preserved material are very limited, this rare oak is the perfect way to display the time and craft behind these blends. The Age Collection unites time, craft and quality; all values encapsulated by Royal Salute.”
Sally Mackereth, Studio Mackereth says: “The rich dark timber that we have used for the Royal Salute The Age Collection is from ancient trees trapped in peat beneath a riverbed in Croatia, preserving it for 8,000 years from the natural decaying process. To witness the tree trunks being raised from their watery lair is an extraordinary sight. To have the opportunity to work with this ancient wood is a great privilege and the piece that we have designed consciously celebrates the beauty of nature and the passage of time.”
Ben Naylor, director, Jack Badger adds: “The morta wood used for the Age Collection plinths for Royal Salute is an elusive and rare wood. The material doesn’t need us to shout about it as the beauty of the wood truly does speak for itself. Once we shaped the ancient wood into the mountains and valleys, which the bottles nestle amongst, all that was left for us to do was to enhance the colour and patina of the wood’s rippling rich grain with a French polish, which amplifies the character and detail of this unique material.”
The Age Collection will be produced in an edition of 21 sets, with each set retailing at a RRP of US$40,000.
The whiskies are described thus: The 21 year old is richer and sweeter than the signature 21 Years Old blend with a high proportion of malt whisky. The 22 year old contains a higher proportion of malts from first fill American oak barrels. The 23 year old is the old fashioned kind, containing some whiskies from distilleries that are no longer in existence. The 24 year old contains whiskies matured in top quality Hogsheads. The 25 year old blend is the most faithful to its family with the Royal Salute bedrock malts Longmorn and Strathisla. The 26 year old boasts two brothers from a single Glen. The 27 year old contains a Speyside classic. The 28 year old is the rich fulfilment of the 23 year old’s promise. The 29 year old contains whiskies that have been matured in sherry casks. The 30 year old is the venerable head of the clan - there are whiskies in this blend that are older than some European countries!
24 November 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor