The Royal Salute blended Scotch whisky brand, for one of its latest offerings, sought to kick off a new series done “in collaboration with some of the most critically acclaimed artists of today, taking inspiration from whisky blending, to create a lasting tribute to the transformative power of creativity.”
This new ultra high end series, known as The Art of Wonder, kicks off with the Royal Salute Forces of Nature by Kate MccGwire. For this release MccGwire, who specialises in the medium of feathers, was asked by Royal Salute to create a one-of-a-kind piece to accompany an ultra-rare, 53 year old whisky. To this end she created 21 pieces known as Paragon using specially selected and sustainably sourced pheasant feathers.
The 53 year whisky accompanying the art was crafted by Royal Salute Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, and is one of the highest ages ever released by the brand, alluding to the year 1953, in which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was crowned and Royal Salute was established. It is contained inside just 21 decanters, said to be “individually handblown by artisan glassmakers, Dartington Crystal. Each decanter is engraved with intricate feathers and gilded in 24-carat gold leaf, with magnificent curves inspired by Kate MccGwire’s enchanting sculptures.”
Both the art and decanters are housed inside “a hand-crafted wooden cabinet, accompanied by a beautiful art book detailing the collaboration between Royal Salute and the British sculptor.”
In a further tie in to the artist, the brand has teamed with her for two key art events where it will exhibit the remainder of her Forces of Nature body of work, with a specially designed piece for each event.
“For the first volume from the Art of Wonder collection,” said Hyslop in a prepared statement, “I wanted to create an outstanding expression that reflected Royal Salute’s desire to push individual craft beyond expectation. To do that, together with my expert team, we crafted an opulent 53 Year Old blend, one of the highest ages we have ever released.
“This is a thrilling moment, and it’s been a privilege to blend such rare and precious whiskies at the pinnacle of what is achievable with delicate high-aged stock laid down by my predecessors.”
“For this body of work,” added MccGwire, “I was inspired by the unpredictable and ever-changing ‘Forces of Nature’ that influence the forms and energy that embody my sculptures. The three pieces I have created exclusively for Royal Salute celebrate the world of whisky and use regal pheasant feathers which are so beautifully figured with luminous amber in the brown, reminiscent of a well-aged blend.
“After visiting the Strathisla distillery, I was also inspired by Royal Salute’s copper whisky stills, and have used the material in two of the pieces I’ve created, Protean and Plethora.”
Royal Salute Forces of Nature by Kate MccGwire is available now through selected specialist retailers for RRP $90,000. Limited official tasting notes mention this whisky is “rich and fruity on the nose, leading to notes of berries, candied walnuts, and sweet toasted oak with a long, rich, and slightly dry finish.”