Tuesday 13 June 2017

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Steven Klein Edition launch party

Last Friday night saw Edrington Hong Kong launch The Macallan Masters of Photography Steven Klein Edition, the Sixth official release in the series (not including the Steven Klein edition of Rare Cask Black). Priced at $2,999USD and bottled at 53.9%, the NAS release includes whisky distilled "in the 1940s or 1950s", and for the first time ever, Macallan aged in ex-Rioja wine casks. 1,000 bottles are available, with just over 30 coming to Hong Kong (HKD price TBC).

Now I'm no art critic, but based on what I've seen, Steven Klein's aesthetic seems to bring together fashion, sexuality, dystopianism, with a good dash of colour. Just like the video below, produced as part of this Macallan.

...hang on...why am I talk about Steven Klein's "aesthetic" on a whisky blog, you might ask? Because that aesthetic seems to be exactly what Edrington were seeking to re-create for the launch party, and they absolutely nailed it. As soon as we read the location on the invitation (an entire hall of the HK Convention & Exhibition Centre), Steph and I knew the event would be impressive, but we didn't quite know what to expect...

What we were met with upon arrival though could easily have been the set of the next Steven Klein shoot, only with everyone looking a lot more animated and happy than in the above video! Happiness which was no doubt partially a result of the cocktails on offer - including a Double Cask 12yo Rusty Nail, a smoked ginger Old Fashioned and a cherry cocktail which was delicious, but definitely one for the sweet tooths.

(The cocktails were particularly fitting, given MoP Steven Klein edition includes a number of cocktail tools, presumably a nod to whisky "blasphemers" who would be happy to mix the whisky in a cocktail. I'm sure it'd make for delicious cocktails.)

Cocktails were passed around the room, or available from the three bars each offering a different one, with bartending theatrics (liquid nitrogen etc..) on show, whilst two large countdown clocks loomed in the background.

When those clocks finally did strike 00:00:00, Brand Director for The Macallan Ken Grier (who we first met 12 months ago at the launch of the 65yo in Lalique) took the stage to introduce the whisky, and explain a little about the collaboration, and the liquid itself (although the aforementioned details - whisky distilled in the 40s or 50s, and ex-Rioja Macallan, were about all the details we were given on the whisky's make-up).

With all those cocktails, you might think there was a noticeable absence of neat whisky (a point some attendees made too), however before long, drams of Rare Cask made their way around the room, followed by a lovely Rare Cask cocktail (whose ingredients I didn't manage to note, but seemed to include some sort of PX Sherry. Either way, it was delicious).

Whilst we didn't get to actually try the The Macallan Masters of Photography Steven Klein Edition (not unexpected, given the crowd size), the event was a huge amount of fun, and a testament to the ongoing creativity that the Edrington Hong Kong team put into their events. 

We can't wait to see what's in store for the next launch.


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