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The Macallan looks to revive chemistry with art

The Macallan premium single malt whisky from Speyside, Scotland, is returning to Korea with a new special edition, aiming to generate chemistry between whisky and the legendary photographer Albert Watson.

For the biennial “Master of Photography” project, the Scottish distillery selects an artist to portray the craft of whisky-making through photography. 
Photographer Albert Watson
Photographer Albert Watson

Following the first series with British portrait photographer Rankin in 2009, Watson, winner of the prestigious Royal Photographic Society’s 2010 Centenary Medal, joined to celebrate The Macallan’s 20-year-old sherry oak.

“The project is aimed at providing customers with value beyond liquor,” an official at The Macallan said.

“Watson has been one of the world’s most successful fashion and commercial photographers for the last four decades.”

For the Macallan collaboration project, Watson attempted to “create a unique portfolio of photographs and platinum prints” by documenting a couple’s journey following its oak casks, which begins in the forests of northern Spain and ends at the whisky’s spiritual home in Speyside, officials said. 
The Macallan’s Masters of Photography Limited Edition
The Macallan’s Masters of Photography Limited Edition

The veteran artist focused on conveying the whisky-making process while portraying dramatic landscapes of Spain and Scotland along the way.

The distillery produced only 1,000 sets of the limited edition targeting premium whisky aficionados around the world.

In Korea, 50 customers will be able to enjoy the combination of the rare whisky and Watson’s works, according to Maxxium Korea Ltd., The Macallan’s local distributor. Shinsegae Department Store’s main branch in downtown Seoul and Gangnam branch in southern Seoul sell the product for 1.2 million won ($1,100) each.

Each package contains a bottle of The Macallan’s 20-year-old sherry oak whisky, which has dark golden color and rich flavors of dried fruits, ginger, dark chocolate and orange.

Included in the product is a set of 10 portfolio prints, in which Watson followed the couple’s road trip from Spain to Scotland, the company said. Their images also feature on the whisky bottle’s labels.

The black-and-white photos are realized in platinum print, which requires an artisanal process to produce images with an expanded tonal range, three-dimensionality and luminous quality, the producer said. They also can last thousands of years if properly preserved.

Founded in 1824, The Macallan is one of the most recognized whisky distilleries worldwide.

It currently provides an extensive range of single malt whisky, with strong footings in the U.S. and U.K. markets.

In Korea, Maxxium Korea offers The Macallan 12, 18, 21, 25, 30 years old in addition to the limited edition of The Macallan 1946 and The Macallan 1971 for local customers.

Watson is well known for iconic portraits of personalities including Alfred Hitchcock, Kate Moss and Mick Jagger.

He spent much of his 40-year career working in the fashion industry, taking cover shots for magazines including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Rolling Stone.

The photographer has also directed more than 500 television commercials, published several books of his photographs and created a number of iconic film posters such as Kill Bill and Memoirs of a Geisha.

By Shin Hyon-hee (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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