Since setting off from Brittany, France in late August, contemporary artists Maxime Berthou and Mark Požlep have arrived safely at Bunnahabhain Distillery on Islay. The two men have been navigating land and sea in a restored 1941 fishing boat, carrying aged French wood which will be transformed into whisky casks.
The Hogshead 733 collaboration saw the two artistic sailors travel 733 miles across the English Channel, up the west coast of England, before making the final leg of the journey towards Bunnahabhain Bay on Islay.
The next stage of the journey will see the wood hand-crafted into whisky casks and filled with peated Bunnahabhain whisky. These unique casks will be laid to rest and matured in the distillery warehouse, before being bottled in a limited edition run of only 733 bottles.
Inspired by craftsmanship, a love of whisky and Bunnahabhain’s seafaring history, Maxime and Mark have spent the last two years painstakingly restoring the fishing vessel and sourcing the unique wood that would go on to become casks.
Maxime Berthou said:
“This has been the trip of a lifetime for myself and Mark. We’ve received such a warm welcome from everyone at the distillery and a delicious dram of Bunnahabhain whisky was just what we needed when we arrived.
“With every mile that we travelled, we were driven by a sense of adventure and inspired by our surroundings. We hope that the memory of our journey will be felt by everyone who buys a bottle of Bunnahabhain matured in the Hogshead casks.”
Alison Gibb, Global Marketing Manager at Burn Stewart said:
“This has been a journey of epic proportions for Maxime and Mark. In true Bunnahabhain tradition, they’ve persevered through stormy seas and weather and arrived on Islay with smiles on their faces and a few stories to tell.
“We’re so pleased to finally welcome them at the distillery and for the next leg of the journey to begin. Each drop of whisky matured in these hand-crafted casks will be unique and will reflect Maxime and Mark’s passion and determination.”
Follow the transformation of the cask and catch-up on Maxime and Mark’s journey on Bunnahabhain’s Twitter (@bunnahabhain) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/Bunnahabhain).