The Macallan Commissions Legendary Photographer Annie Leibovitz

The Macallan, the luxury single malt whisky distributed by Maxxium UK, has commissioned the world’s most famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz for the third edition of its award-winning Masters of Photography series. The Macallan Masters of Photography: Annie Leibovitz Edition sees Leibovitz bring to life the essence of the brand through her unique photographer’s eye, with renowned Scottish actor Kevin McKidd cast in the role of leading man.

This year’s limited edition, The Macallan Masters of Photography: Annie Leibovitz Edition, comprises 1000 bottles of which there are four different single malt expressions crafted to reflect the mood of the signed Annie Leibovitz print that each is paired with. Shot against four dramatic backdrops in and around New York City, Annie Leibovitz captures the brilliance of a moment where everything comes together, showcasing the stature of whisky as an icon of taste and masculinity.

“I am the first colour photographer chosen by The Macallan for its Master of Photography series, prior to this I hadn’t realised how complicated and deep the distilling process is. That warmth and richness is what I tried to bring to the photographs. Kevin McKidd drove the imagery. Where Kevin comes from and his rugged good looks are what the photographs are all about. It wasn’t casting, it’s authentic.” Comments Annie Leibovitz

The whiskies for this limited edition have been taken from four single casks to showcase the very best of The Macallan. Beginning with a 1991 sherry oak puncheon delivering an intensity of rich dried fruits with ginger and cinnamon spice to give vibrancy like the Bar image it represents. Moving onto an 1989 sherry butt giving chocolate orange and date, with sweetness and wood on the palate, to capture the chemistry of the moment in the Gallery.

The 1995 sherry oak hogshead, set for global travel retail and distillery sales, reflects the contemplative mood of the associated Library shot, with a long lingering finish starting with sultana and chocolate orange but offers up toasted apple and ginger along the way. Finally a 1996 American oak butt inspired by the Skyline shot, resulting in citrus, vanilla and cream soda with a full bodied finish. The bottle, labelled with the image of its accompanying print, is presented with a book documenting the shoot, in a bespoke photo-archival box stamped with The Macallan brand and Annie Leibovitz’s name.

A further four individually customised bottles of The Macallan 1949, from its Fine and Rare collection and celebrating the year Annie Leibovitz was born will also be released. Accompanied by a signed one-off gallery-sized print, they will be available with a reserve price of $25,000 following their three-city world exhibition tour of Hong Kong, Moscow and New York, which will be attended by Annie Leibovitz and Kevin McKidd.

Masters of Photography Series

Charismatic actor, Kevin McKidd, acclaimed star of US TV drama Grey’s Anatomy and cult film Trainspotting hails from Elgin, just a few miles away from The Macallan Distillery on Speyside, where he even worked as a young man, making him an authentic choice for the role of leading man. He says “This project is very special to me. Having worked at The Macallan distillery in my youth I remain a Macallan drinker to this day so to be asked by The Macallan to be part of this campaign was a huge honour. Annie Leibovitz is a living legend so to be photographed by her is a once in a lifetime experience.”

Peter Sandstrom, Marketing Director, Maxxium UK said: “This is the third edition in our market leading Masters of Photography series. Working with one of the world’s most influential photographers has helped underpin The Macallan’s iconic and luxury status. The Macallan Masters of Photography platform has become increasingly important to the brand, providing a relevant global platform, and Annie Leibovitz has captured our spirit in her own unique way. To celebrate the collaboration with Annie, we have crafted four outstanding and exceptional single malt whiskies, rich in flavour and history, in keeping with our signature character and profile.”

As a nod to the interest The Macallan Masters of Photography Series has received to date from collectors, those wishing to purchase the collection can also register their interest online at ahead of the release date.

The Macallan Annie Leibovitz edition is available to purchase from selected UK luxury on and off trade accounts from September 2012 priced approximately £1700.

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