In this year’s Best of the Best, we continue to honour the brands and people who have continued to create covetable products, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Here, we have The Macallan’s Anecdotes of Ages win ‘best limited edition’ in the wine and spirits category
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band may not be the favourite album of die-hard Beatles fans, but it is the one that blew most minds. Plenty of popular music was derived from its influence after its release in 1967, but it wasn’t just the songwriting and music that made it a hit. The cover, too, had immediate impact, and it went on to become the most legendary cover-art shoot, cementing The Beatles’ mythic status for all time.
The man behind that era-defining album cover is Sir Peter Blake – British cultural icon and godfather of pop art. To quote Noel Gallagher, if The Beatles, The Kinks and The Rolling Stones were the sound of the ’60s, then Sir Peter’s work would be the visual representation of that.
Another collaborative success is the partnership between The Macallan and Sir Peter, the third time the distillery and the knight of the realm have collaborated across a span of 30 years. This recent collection is truly deserving of its grandiose Anecdotes of Ages moniker, comprising 13 one-a-kind bottles of whisky, including a particularly characterful whisky from 1967. Bottled at 46.7 per cent ABV, it has the personality to match Sir Peter’s artwork and consists of oak and fig notes that lead to hazelnut and strawberry before finishing with chocolate and lightly spiced peach.
The bottles, each hand-blown by artisanal Scottish glassmakers, contain the precious liquid with a solid oak stopper and feature 13 unique pieces of collage-styled art by Sir Peter – one for each bottle. These bottles are accompanied by a leather-bound book, the tales behind the art (inspired by a visit that Sir Peter took to The Macallan Estate) and a certificate of authenticity. Twelve bottles were auctioned by Sotheby’s in March 2021 to raise funds for the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York. Among the highlights is its A New Era of Advertising version, which was hammered down for US$437,500 (S$592,342).
The 13th bottle, Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work, is in The Macallan’s archives. While the complete set will take some time to collect as it resurfaces in auction halls (if not already imbibed), the same rare 1967 whisky is up for grabs. The Anecdotes of Ages Collection: Down to Work Limited Edition chronicles the post-war leadership of the distillery by George Harbinson. In the ’70s, Harbinson made the decision to prioritise sherry oak casks instead of the cheaper and more readily available ex-bourbon casks, a decision that remains a foundation of The Macallan today. A total of 322 replica bottles are yours for a more approachable US$83,000 (S$112,376) a bottle.