Philippe Starck joins Mortlach as creative director

Philippe Starck Mortlach

To celebrate two centuries of Mortlach, Philippe Starck joins the distillery as its first-ever creative director, with a Mortlach x Starck collection to debut this spring

Consider this a new era for Mortlach. The distiller of single malt Scotch from Dufftown, Scotland was the first known distillery in Speyside, and since 1823, it’s built a reputation for exceptional whisky through time-honoured techniques and a unique partial triple distillation process. To honour two centuries of distilling excellence, Mortlach welcomes Philippe Starck as its first-ever creative director.

His appointment with the Diageo-owned distillery was announced during Miami Art Week last December. The French designer and architect, famous for his Juicy Salif citrus juicer for Alessi and Louis Ghost Chair for Kartell, among many things, will work on whisky for the first time. In fact, the inaugural Mortlach x Starck collection will be revealed this spring 2024.

Philippe Starck Mortlach
Philippe Starck (left) and Pedro Mendonça, Diageo’s global reserve managing director. Photo by Mortlach

“We are proud to be the first Scotch whisky brand he has ever worked with,” said Pedro Mendonça, Diageo’s global reserve managing director. “Together, we will venture into creative new heights, reinventing what whisky will represent to a generation, reimagining and rebuilding the spirit of Mortlach.”

While Starck doesn’t consider himself a whisky expert, he does have a passion for the spirit. He also shares the same pioneering vision as Mortlach’s trailblazing distiller, Alexander Cowie. In an interview with Forbes, he thinks of Mortlach as “courageous” to work with somebody so unexpected. But perhaps new blood is what an age-old brand needs to move forward. It brings avant-garde intelligence to traditional savoir-faire, and pushes new boundaries and challenges convention.

Since its creation, the brand has been inventing and exploring new territories, crafting whiskies that are incredibly rich without any gimmick or anything superfluous… Mortlach clearly already belonged to the future,” Starck said. “[But] the evolution story of Mortlach [will take] a leap forward into modernity, with the elegance of nature and the magic of science at the service of humanity.”


Featured photo by Mortlach