The Macallan celebrated the launch of its fifth edition of the acclaimed Masters of Photography series and hosted an exclusive unveiling event at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum featuring the inimitable work of Mario Testino, one of the world’s most prolific portrait and fashion photographers, who was commissioned to capture the essence of The Macallan through the photographer’s lens and artistic vision.
Previous editions were authored by iconic photographers Elliott Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson and Rankin. This year, the fifth edition paid homage to The Macallan’s foundation stones, The Six Pillars, of which Mario Testino brought to life through the characterisation of six individual personalities, forming a distinctive group that embodied the spirit of the ultimate party. Shot in a former palace near the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, the photographs recalled the vibrancy and luxury of the realm of The Macallan, and were instilled with cultural allusions.
Much like Testino’s approach in casting each persona, the Master Whisky Maker meticulously selected six of over 200,000 casks maturing at The Macallan. Characterised by varying aromas, flavours and an unparalleled depth and complexity, these malts most certainly encapsulated each one of the unprecedented Six Pillars that The Macallan has built its stellar reputation upon, and produced a multi-dimensional flavour experience that can only be attributed to the casks of Spanish and American 100% sherry seasoned oak butt and puncheon that each malt matured in.
The unparalleled flavours of The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition began with the Spiritual Home, a single malt of heritage, class and complexity with the sherry seasoned cask driving its distinct character, and was represented by a striking man exuding sophistication and charisma. Next, the Curiously Small Stills promised a desirable lingering finish, of which Testino illustrated by the curiously small Chinese Crested Dog, cradled by a classically alluring woman to convey a timeless elegance.
“Whisky was the choice of drink in my country during the years I was growing up. When I was approached by The Macallan to take part in the Masters of Photography Series I decided to capture the moment when people get together to celebrate, in the atmosphere of a whisky environment – a whisky club!” comments Mario Testino.
The Finest Cut offered a welcoming sharpness with notes of Citrus at the fore, and was characterised by a sharp man in a perfectly tailored look, much like the cut of a great suit. Expressed through notes of spice, dried fruit and sweetness, the Exceptional Oak Casks was played by a distinguished, mature man full of character and experience. Vibrancy and flair lay in the heart of the Natural Colour single malt, carrying a feminine charm that led to the casting of a lady holding real poise, beauty and subtlety seen in this sublime whisky. Last but certainly not least is the Peerless Spirit, a malt exemplifying true character, heritage and story, of which Testino portrayed through a confident military man who stands for something authentic.
The fifth chapter of The Macallan’s Masters of Photography also marked the first design collaboration, producing a set of 1,000 Mario Testino Editions available globally, with each featuring one of the four dynamic photographs captured by Testino. Indeed, the presentation box itself, inspired by the subtle elegance of the rich Asian cultural heritage, was as ravishing as the flavours of the single malt itself, as the limited edition whisky was packaged in a stunning, high-gloss, black lacquered encasing, designed together with Mario Testino. Each box was individually numbered and included an exclusive photo-archival booklet featuring a total of 20 images, with an additional hidden compartment that enclosed six miniatures from each of the selected six casks. The Macallan Masters of Photography: Mario Testino edition will be available in Hong Kong at HK$28,000 at premium wine and spirit shops