The Macallan celebrates a 30-year collaboration with Pop artist Sir Peter Blake today with the release of a new collection of 13 unique bottles comprising the Anecdotes of Ages Collection. In recognition of their long partnership, The Macallan also announced a special charity auction of one of the unique Sir Peter Blake bottles from the Anecdotes of Ages Collection at Sotheby’s New York on March 13 to benefit the Guggenheim Museum.
A virtual art exhibition focusing on stories behind the Anecdotes of Ages Collection will also be offered, and, finally, The Macallan will release a specially created whisky called An Estate, A Community, and A Distillery, sold in a custom box designed by Sir Peter Blake.
Best known for his groundbreaking work incorporating movie stars and fandom into fine art, Sir Peter Blake has for more than 50 years created work recognizable throughout popular culture, including numerous collaborations with musicians like The Who, Eric Clapton, Oasis, and Band Aid. The artist deftly mixes colorful lettering and crowds of familiar people in a wide range of projects—most recently, the building wrap for the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel, his largest yet, and his on-going project “Joseph Cornell’s Holiday,” in which he imagines the famed artist recluse traveling to places he could never reach in his lifetime. A 1973 retrospective of Blake’s work held at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam toured to Hamburg and Brussels, and then London in 1983. Blake was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1981; he was knighted in 2002. In 2007, Tate Liverpool held a major retrospective of Sir Peter Blake’s work that toured to the Museo de Bellas Artes, in Bilbao, Spain, in 2008.
“I am deeply inspired by the incredible legacy of The Macallan,” 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, and emphasizes family, tradition, and the natural world.”
The Anecdotes of Ages Collection comprises 13 one-of-a-kind hand-blown bottles with oak stoppers; they contain an exceptional peach-colored whisky with the aroma of antique oak, dried fruit, and fig. Hints of pineapple and mango are layered over a decadent chocolate strawberry note. The whisky tastes of warm chocolate with light nutmeg, ginger, oak spices, and sweet oak accents, opening into pineapple and coconut with an unexpected strawberry and hazelnut burst. The whisky was distilled in 1967, the year Sir Peter Blake’s collage style exploded beyond the art world to dominate popular culture. Presented in a handcrafted European oak case, each of the Anecdotes of Ages bottles features a signed label revealing unique stories about The Macallan’s history and community, and the beautiful natural landscape of The Macallan Estate.
The 13 original bottles will be retained in The Macallan archive, while a limited edition of 322, featuring duplicate labels and the same rare 1967 whisky, will be released as the Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition; bottles will be available worldwide for a suggested retail price of $83,000 each. A leather-bound book showcasing all 13 label artworks and corresponding stories accompanies each bottle, as well as a certificate of authenticity.
On March 13, Sotheby’s New York will host a live auction in which one of the 13 original bottles of The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection will be sold to benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Proceeds from the sale of this bottle will advance efforts underway at the Guggenheim to increase free access and develop engagement with a variety of audiences, as part of the museum’s diversity, equity, access, and inclusion initiatives.
“The Anecdotes of Ages Collection provides the perfect intersection where Sir Peter Blake’s distinct collage art meets the art of creating great whisky,” Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine, remarked. “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.”
To give Sir Peter Blake’s work increased exposure, The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Virtual Art Exhibit (www.themacallan.com/virtual-art-exhibit) offers three 360-degree digital experiences, starting with a tour of Sir Peter Blake’s studio, where the artist’s pioneering Pop art collage style is examined. Next, the Anecdotes of Ages gallery provides context for each of the artworks that Sir Peter Blake created to tell the story of the 13 bottles of The Macallan—from The Macallan’s spiritual home at Easter Elchies Estate to the new Distillery and Visitor Experience. The virtual exhibition culminates in the world reveal of the bottles with Sir Peter Blake’s handcrafted, original label artwork.
As a final tribute, The Macallan created a special whisky to honor their decades-long collaboration with Sir Peter Blake and their shared appreciation of beauty, nature, and legacy. An Estate, A Community, and A Distillery is a cinnamon-colored whisky with an aroma of dried fruit and spices, highlighted by notes of orange and clove. It has accents of cracked black pepper and treacle on the palate. The whisky will be sold in a custom box inspired by Sir Peter Blake’s art, containing a certificate outlining the art’s history and heritage. It will also contain Sir Peter Blake’s artwork printed on a scroll. The whisky will sell for a suggested retail price of $1,200.
To view The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Art Gallery Exhibit, please visit www.themacallan.com/virtual-art-exhibit. To learn more about The Macallan or to purchase the Anecdotes of Ages Collection or the An Estate, A Community, and A Distillery, visit TheMacallan.com.