Cover Photo: Macallan

The latest release in The Macallan Concept Series showcases a collage design by visionary graphic designer David Carson

In a spectacular collaboration with renowned graphic designer David Carson, The Macallan has unveiled the latest addition to their Concept Series, Concept No. 3. This long-awaited collection features a selection of annual release whiskies which fuse the artistry and expertise behind the brand’s whisky making with creativity and culture. The project symbolises the melding of culinary and visual art, opening up the doors to a whole new dimension of whisky tasting. 

The US graphic designer David Carson is highly acclaimed for his innovative use of typography in the field of graphic design. Since establishing his own studio, Carson is the brains behind campaigns for some of the world’s leading consumer brands including Nike, Levi, Pepsi and Ray-Ban, and was among only two graphic designers selected by Apple as part of its iconic ‘30 most innovative users’ list. Naturally, for the third and final expression in the series, The Macallan turned to him.

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Seeking inspiration and a fresh perspective for his design, David ventured to The Macallan’s beautiful 485-acre Estate in Scotland’s Speyside, where he spent time with The Macallan whisky maker Polly Logan. There, the two found muses in each other.

Both artists in their respective fields, David and Polly discovered parallels in the approaches to their individual crafts—both are motivated by constant evolution and change, creating depth by assigning meaning to each and every element found within their creations.

As a nod towards their shared methodology, David incorporated the letter P for Polly into his handmade collage. The art’s kaleidoscope of brazen hues is also evident of David dipping his paintbrush into The Macallan Estate on Scotland’s Speyside, with blue representing the magical River Spey and red reflecting The Macallan’s exceptional sherry-seasoned oak casks.

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Likewise, Polly has drawn inspiration from David’s intense devotion to his craft and distinctive character, bringing to life an unusually fresh whisky, with a distinctive warm, golden hue that pays tribute to the graphic designer’s years on the USA’s West Coast. The Whisky Maker explains, “Its pale yellow colour, which we’ve named Californian Gold, reflects David’s sun-soaked days as a surfer and it also reveals the citrus notes which shine through.”

As a display of their connection and mutual respect for each other’s respective crafts, the pair's shared interest in the number eight is represented in the specifically developed 40.8 per cent ABV.

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The spirit-lifting expression combines the fruity notes of pear with warming cinnamon spice and a creamy, vanilla sweetness—an intricate blend of flavours that appeal to both the average whisky enthusiast and art lover alike. The sheer complexity interwoven into Polly’s concoction is breathtaking, from predominantly first fill sherry seasoned American oak casks that deliver a sweetness and spice, enhanced by a selection of European oak casks to add depth and richness. All this is delicately encased in a striking presentation box bearing the masterful touch of David’s handmade design. Each bottle also features labelling designed by David along with a vibrant chevron symbol bearing his signature.

Concept No. 3 is a fitting finale for The Macallan’s highly innovative Concept Series that included Concept No. 1, in which surrealism and idealism created a fantastical, sensorial world of whisky, and Concept No. 2, which coalesced the aural and oral notes of music and whisky respectively. The compelling collaboration between whisky makers and artists materialises the abstract concept of seeking out beautiful parallels between various art forms.