Perhaps moreso than any other distillery in recent memory, The Macallan has embraced a creative identity stressing the unique connection between conventional artforms and the creation of high quality whisky. Since 2008, the estate’s ongoing Masters of Photography series has elucidated the parallels between world-class photography and distilling: whether that be through interactions with the world of fashion; or via examination of the creative impulses shared by photographers and whisky makers. The Macallan Magnum Edition is the eponymous estate’s latest release in this ongoing lineage: enlisting six photographers from the Magnum Photos collective for the purpose of creating a uniquely historic and collectible whisky. (You can read more in-depth coverage of The Macallan Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition, including our exclusive interview with Creative Director Ken Grier here.)
In the 10 years following the first Masters of Photography release, whisky making at The Macallan Estate has evolved. Beyond the creation of an intensely sweet yet approachable expression, the new Magnum release tells the tale of how The Macallan’s new HK$1.4 billion distillery came to fruition. For drinkers, every impression — whether it be of a claret barrel or ex-bourbon cask — denotes the contribution of a master photographer. Each individual’s “note” — Macallan whisky maker Sarah Burgess even incorporated two for project leader Mark Power — helps to establish an intimate portrait of the new Speyside distillery: of its marvellous architecture, natural splendour and dedicated workforce.
Bringing together a multiplicity of talent — figuring prominently in The Magnum Edition’s creation — is something that’s likely to appeal to designer Maxime Dautresme. The creative director and founder of Substance is behind some of Hong Kong’s most spatially clever F&B venues, including Bibo on Hollywood Road and neo-izakaya Fukuro. His most ambitious project to date, a two-year refurbishment of The Fleming Hotel, evinces the kind of ambient emotional quality that is kindred to Magnum’s recent work with The Macallan. Like Pinkhassov and Pellegrin (two of the six Magnum photographers enlisted to capture Macallan’s new distillery), Dautresme knows that a rigorously technical approach must be underpinned by an emotionally satisfying narrative. “Our designs are driven by feeling and whims”, says the dram loving wunderkind. “We work by harmonising emotions and from [them], we create experiences that speak to the senses.”
Substance is a full service design agency with offices located in Hong Kong, Paris and Stockholm. For more information, visit A Work of Substance online.
The Macallan Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition is available now in a limited release of 2,000 units (priced at HK$26,460 each). For more information, visit The Macallan online.