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Anecdotes of Ages

Paying Homage to the Past

E600CA23-A5CF-4F30-BC0F-7E8B830451E0@2x Jun 03 2021 · 3 min read

Stories of Distinction

Some meetings were simply meant to happen. This was the sentiment when pop artist Sir Peter Blake, The Macallan’s Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess came together with a particularly characterful single malt from 1967.

The Anecdotes of Ages Collection celebrates our origins, almost two centuries ago. Sir Peter Blake has created original labels inspired by the history, community and beautiful natural landscape of The Macallan Estate. Thirteen bottles make up this unique collection, with the original 13th, Down to Work, to rest within the Macallan Archives. The Down to Work label has been digitally reproduced and will be available as a limited edition whisky.

Living in Harmony

Throughout our history, The Macallan’s Estate owners have lived harmoniously with the Speyside community, with farmers working the land and entrepreneurial Scots directing the fortunes of the fledgling Distillery. 

The longstanding integrity and ingenuity of the local community has seen the Estate flourish through evolutions of society and industry, yet our earliest records show the land has remained relatively unchanged. From the River Spey to dense woodlands, The Macallan is a humble custodian of this precious land, proudly protecting it for future generations.

Each bottle and label in the Anecdotes of Ages Collection is inspired by a particular story from our history; from the ‘Licence to Distil’: depicting anecdotes from when we were granted licence to distil whisky in 1824, to Blake’s depiction of ‘The Giant and The Fish’, portraying Roderick Kemp’s narrative as it intertwines with ours, shaping an essential part of our story.

The Macallan’s Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess visited Sir Peter Blake in his London studio, to gain insight into how he found creativity, and he in turn visited The Macallan Estate. There inspiration flowed as he exchanged anecdotes and learned about the rich history and heritage of The Macallan.

Each collage is inspired by The Macallan 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 legacy to complete a collection that is a celebration of art and whisky.

Sir Peter Blake
Sir Peter Blake in his studio making collages

Inspiration in Anecdotes

Sir Peter Blake deftly applies his particular mix of styles, from colorful lettering to painting and drawing, to various projects.

For this particular project he explored The Macallan archives, selecting images that represent the unique stories that have had an impact on the journey of The Macallan.

As I began to work, I recounted all the stories I have heard. I took those stories, and began to map out my own journey to create these works of art reminding me of my inspiration of The Macallan Estate.

Sir Peter Blake

A Rich, Long-Standing Partnership

Sir Peter Blake is well known at The Macallan Estate. From the first collaboration, his glorious label for a 1926 bottling adorns one of the most prized single malts in the world.

Another collaboration saw a fabulously elaborate artwork that marked the eight decades of existence that both he and The Macallan have shared together.

Renowned photographer Mary McCartney joined Sir Peter Blake and The Macallan on this journey into ages past, bringing the stories into the present by photographing the Anecdotes of Ages Collection at The Macallan Estate.

Each of the 1967 single malt bottles placed in situ, in their natural environment as it were, bringing wider context to the labels.

Informed by the Past, Looking to the Future

We have been formed by people, places and decisions that may have seemed insignificant at the time, but have made a lasting impact in shaping The Macallan. These anecdotes, shared and passed down are immortalised in this iconic collection, treasured for the ages to come. 

Today each bottle in this collection shares a facet of our story, from our roots dating back to 1824 through to the present day. The whisky contained within was distilled in 1967, the same year that Sir Peter Blake transcended the art world into pop culture.

Anecdotes of Ages

Discover the Collection

Anecdotes of Ages

Inspiration behind The 1967 Single Malt