《6 Minutes @ Ken Grier》

Ken Grier, Director of Malts from the Edrington Group brought with him to Hong Kong this time not only the finest Macallan but also the brand latest exquisite <The Masters of Photography> series collaborated with reknown photographer Annie Leibovitz, featuring charismatic Scottish actor Kevin Mckidd for a private viewing one night only event. Grier talks to mylifestylenews how he put everything together and made this collaboration work......

The Macallan is one of the first distilleries in Scotland to be legally licensed Founded in 1824 in the heart of Speyside, since then it has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies.

The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland, and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship. It has then been recognised for its outstanding quality above all else.

Working with one of the world’s most influential photographers Annie Leibovitz really has exceeded all expectations. <The Masters of Photography> series is hugely important to The Macallan brand and Annie Leibovitz being the first color photographer for this series had captured The Macallan moment in her own unique way. 

Annie is amazing and so energetic, with her huge professional team made thing so inspiring. We were quite lucky to be able to work with Annie despite her busy and tight schedule. We always have been appreciated Annie's work and really happy to have someone like her to be one of our <The Masters of Photography> series photographers.

It took us 2 years to book Annie to do this project. It was quite a challenge too to make this work as it was shot 2 weeks before Christmas but looking at Annie and her team to create the shots and the landscapes with the amount of time and effort put in, it was really amazing. The main shot day took around 15 hour-day, it was even longer than movie filming.

Photography to me is about demographic, passionate and contemporary. Annie's work has always been so reflective and environmental, her fashion approach in different mood of luxury, it is contemplated and somehow raw. The warmth and richness of color she created matches so well with the classic and full color of The Macallan.

Our leading actor for this series of <The Masters of Photography> Kevin McKidd from Elgin, Moray, just a few miles from the distillery. He captured the Speyside roots from his childhood growing up, he is not only a fervent Macallan drinker but actually worked at the distillery before he pursued for his acting career and left a wonderful authentic story. For this, making him perfect for the brand.

Kevin's rugged good look of substance and integrity disposition reflects the depth character of The Macallan. The contemplated mood of shooting was impromptu yet it turned out so well. The authenticity in him is what most photographers want.

The shoot was done in Rokeby, the house on the Hudson River in Upstate New York where the first sitting took place. It was built by a family, the Livingstons, who had deep Scottish roots.

The bar scene was real and there were where some of Kevin's friends had gathered. He was sitting with them and that is what Kevin said he would do in his real life.

It was amazing when the shot on the roof in Tudor City as the sun was coming up, it was before 6am in the morning with the clear blue sky and the sun hit the buildings below the Chrysler Building and the reflection from the window was simply breathtaking.

The message that we would like to deliver to the consumer is the mastering of making the fine oak. Through photographs, it projects an unique and luxury way by enjoying the best of the best whisky.

The growing of young consumer in the Asia region like Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Japan is rather optimistic. A nice positioning of 50% Asia sales in such premium pricing, they are prepared to pay for a great value and quality fine whisky.

We do thing differently to make a difference as single malt is an aspiration drink, it is intriguing and interesting complex world with ultimate inspiration taste of luxury.

We like The Macallan to be seen as an ultimate luxury drink, luxury great crafting excitment in alcohol beverages.

The next project for The Macallan would be an art related big photography project with Lalique.

My ideal way of living lifestyle is being so lucky to have this job travelling around meeting different people and discover different culture. I am loving what I do and have the ability to create beautiful things around me, I am contented.

Further photography of <The Masters of Photography> series, visit
mylifestylenews @ Ken Grier

*Special thanks to Edrington Hong Kong & Lee Woulter PR @ the interview arrangement.

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