The Macallan has unveiled the Anecdotes of Ages Collection, a stunning art and whisky collaboration with pioneering British pop artist, Sir Peter Blake.

The collaboration celebrates The Macallan’s legacy and Sir Peter Blake’s contribution to the art world. It is The Macallan’s third collaboration with the artist and is part of a relationship that has spanned more than three decades. A worldwide unveiling of the collection was held tonight, with Sir Peter and The Macallan Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess talking about the significance of the project.

Tribute to a king of pop art: The Down to Work Limited Edition features just 322 bottles, available worldwide from this month, with a selection offered through The Macallan Boutiques at airports

At the heart of the collection – which The Macallan said would be sought after by whisky and art lovers alike – are 13 one-of-a-kind bottles of rare 1967 whisky, selected to represent the year that Sir Peter Blake’s signature collages entered popular culture.

Each bottle features its own original Sir Peter Blake collage art on the label, detailing stories relating to The Macallan’s history, community and the natural landscape of The Macallan Estate.

Sir Peter Blake at The Macallan estate (and below with Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess): The collection is expected to attract whisky and art lovers alike

Each of the 13 original bottles is 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 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.

“Classic yet edgy”: Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess on the Anecdotes of Ages range (click on video to play)

While the 13th original bottle will be retained in The Macallan archive, a 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, from February. A limited quantity will be available in global travel retail exclusively at The Macallan Boutiques from Q2 2021.

The striking collection celebrates the partnership between The Macallan and pioneering pop artist Sir Peter Blake that has run since 1986

The designs of these new collections take inspiration from the work of Sir Peter, and lean on his visits to The Macallan Estate on the River Spey

A further special single malt Scotch has been created to commemorate Sir Peter Blake’s visit to The Macallan Estate on the 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. This edition will be available in domestic markets globally from February and in The Macallan Boutiques and selected airports globally, also from Q2.

The RRSP of The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work is US$65,000 / £50,000 /€55,000.

The RRSP of An Estate, A Community and A Distillery is US$1,000 / £750 / €840.

One of the new collection bottles, titled A New Era in Advertising, set against the stunning backdrop of Easter Elchies House on The Macallan Estate; below, The Giant and the Fish and The River Spey (Photos: Mary McCartney)

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.

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 limited edition art piece in celebration of his 80th birthday and decades of collaborating with The Macallan.

Sarah Burgess and Sir Peter Blake in conversation with The Macallan Brand Ambassador Raquel Raies during the global reveal on Wednesday evening; below, a virtual art gallery showing the designs that inspired the bottles

Sir Peter Blake first partnered with The Macallan in 1986 for a design of the 1926 expression

As part of The Macallan’s support for the arts, one of the 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 is being conducted by Sotheby’s in March.

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 talks about the new range, An Estate, A Community and A Distillery 

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.”

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

ABV: 46.7%

An Estate, A Community and A Distillery

Colour: Cinnamon

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

ABV: 47.7%