Last week, The Macallan unveiled a striking new bottle set, The Macallan Colour Collection, available exclusively at Hong Kong International Airport and other such retailers around the world. In fact, while in transit at any major airport in the region, look for the impressive five-age statement collection of 12-, 15-, 18-, 21-, and 30-year-old whiskies (naturally, with similarly escalating prices ranging from HK$625 from HK$34,750 per bottle).
A noteworthy collaboration with notable American graphic designer David Carson brought about the unique design visible in the packaging of each bottle and the viral ad campaigns—just think of the carefully curated colours as easily visible signifiers that showcase the natural hues derived from maturation in The Macallan’s sherry-seasoned oak casks.
“The expressive wonder of colour is something that never gets old. You just can’t beat nature’s palette,” the artist said in a statement about this recent partnership and project. “I see Jerez as one huge, white canvas, its mysteries waiting to be discovered. Working with The Macallan is like having a conversation with an old friend—one who happens to be an excellent craftsman. They’ve spent two hundred years refining their processes to create the best whisky possible, and the knowledge they have is really incredible.”
Jerez, home to historic vineyards and fine wines, is where The Macallan’s sherry-seasoned oak casks are crafted, and this land of origin provided the key thematic palette to Carson’s work. His packaging design reflects the influence of the sherry oak casks, highlighting “the single greatest contributor to the natural colour, distinctive character, aromas, flavours, and outstanding quality of The Macallan’s single malts,” according to the brand.
Indeed, in an earlier edition of Robb Report Hong Kong, writer Drew Mills had spoken equally highly of the Scottish icon and an earlier release, noting its excellence: “The smoke-infused spirit matured in these sherry-seasoned oak casks reveals a natural golden malt. [The Macallan] undoubtedly one for the whisky cabinets of the most discerning.”
“To experience the shapes, the colours, the textures, the soil from Jerez de la Frontera, it’s really inspiring,” Carson continued. “This is where every one of The Macallan’s sherry-seasoned casks comes from. This is the soul of the Colour Collection. It all starts here.”
Crafted predominantly from sherry American oak casks under exacting specifications, the Colour Collection includes a subtle touch of European oak for a balanced range of whiskies. Over time, the radiant natural colour is thus born, with wood and spirit working their magical alchemy to create delicious liquid gold. While the 12-year-old expression reveals notes of sweet oak, citrus peel, and orchard fruits, the 21-year-old gives off a nose of crème brûlée and candied lemon, with flavours of hazelnuts, and dark chocolate orange, among others. Pineapple, dried mango, and tropical fruits dominate the 30-year-old whisky.
“The Macallan Colour Collection is a visual celebration of our commitment to natural colour and sherry seasoning, with each of the five distinctive whiskies taking travellers through a compelling sensory journey of the remarkable spectrum of natural hues derived from maturation in The Macallan’s sherry seasoned oak casks,” sums up Kirsteen Campbell, master whisky maker at The Macallan, in a statement.
“Deepening in colour with age, each expression tells its own story and is a prism through which consumers can explore the unique characteristics which underpin the exceptional craftsmanship, renowned quality, and rich character of our single malt whisky.”
For a deeper dive into the process and story behind the collaboration, a series of immersive art exhibitions celebrating The Macallan’s exclusive partnership with David Carson will take place in London, Shanghai, Dubai, Singapore, and Los Angeles in the coming weeks and months. Exact dates and locations will be posted here.
The Colour Collection is available in The Macallan Global Boutiques in major airports and travel destinations from September 2023, and can be viewed (and bought) at a pop-up at the Hong Kong International Airport from mid-October to November 2023.
All images courtesy of The Macallan.