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New Masters of Photography Macallan released

The Macallan has unveiled the sixth release of its Masters of Photography series, a collaboration with Steven Klein. The move is a change in direction for the series, with the brand working with Klein, an artist known for the visual ambiguity of his work.

Since 2008, The Macallan has partnered with some of the most well known photographers in the industry like Annie Lebowitz, Elliott Erwitt and Mario Testino to marry whisky making with their interpretations of the world of The Macallan. This year, The Macallan Masters of Photography series partnered with Steven Klein to explore an ingredient the brand claims is fundamental in the making of The Macallan: time. The unspoken fourth ingredient in The Macallan as each bottle of whisky captures a moment in time; to be enjoyed in the future - but always rooted to a time in the past.

To portray this piece, The Macallan master whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno, has created a whisky which the brand suggests reveals a very specific character and flavour, itself capturing a moment in time, mirroring Bob Dalgarno’s own interpretation of Steven Klein’s work.

Inspired by the past, and uncharacteristic for The Macallan, peated notes are claimed to represent the smokiness of the industrial setting of Klein’s film. Some of the rare Macallan whiskies of that era were indeed peated in profile. The whisky also represents The Macallan’s first ever use of casks previously used for Rioja wine, which it claims provides flavors of berries and spices, along with an unusual pinkish red color, reflective of the artist’s imagery.

Steven Klein comments: “This project has given me the chance to create a film and a special edition bottle and box. This was a true merging of artist and commerce, where I had great support from the team at Macallan in this endeavour.”

Klein continues: “My intention was to examine a world standing still through a moving camera. Typically with consumption of alcohol, there is always an abundance of movement. I thought what if it had all stopped for a moment and I could take a closer look at it. The idea is the perception of time. I used one of my favorite designers, Thom Brown, for the characters because I believe his clothes are bridged between the past and future in a great way.”

Klein captures a moment in time through his lens to create a short film and ten individual images of a tableau. The edition is paired with a whisky limited to only 1,000 bottles worldwide. 

Ken Grier, creative director, The Macallan, says: “Our commitment to the extraordinary is reflected in a restless spirit of dynamism, creativity and mastery to create the ultimate spirit. We bring together things which can appear ordinary and transform them into something incredible. We create, define and disrupt moments in time.”

The Masters of Photography: Steven Klein edition is presented in a black case containing the limited edition whisky and one of ten different Steven Klein exclusive signed prints. A horse’s head bottle stopper, along with a range of custom barware tools to create serves and flavour experiences are also included, inspired by the Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain and ultimately, Klein’s own style.

This limited edition liquid will retail at $2,995.

22 April 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor