New Macallan Master of Photography unveiled

Each presentation box is individually numbered and features a hidden compartment. Picture: Macallan
Each presentation box is individually numbered and features a hidden compartment. Picture: Macallan
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THE MACALLAN have unveiled Mario Testino as their fifth Master of Photography.

The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino edition is a unique whisky produced from a combination of six casks chosen by Macallan’s own Bob Dalgrano. Inspired by Mario Testino’s photography, each cask has been chosen to reflect the photographer’s complex style then married to produce a fascinating whisky with a highly unique flavour profile.

The Peruvian is one of the world’s most famous fashion photographers and he has worked with some of the biggest magazines in the business including Vogue and Vanity fair. However, it is his portrait work that he is perhaps most well known for. He has worked with supermodels such as Kate Moss and Gisele Budchen and has received royal commissions to photograph Princess Diana and Prince Harry.

Testino is the fifth photographer to be chosen by Macallan, following in the footsteps of Annie Liebovitz and Elliot Erwin.

Each bottle in the series is designed, Macallan says, to “conjoin the art of whisky making with the artist’s interpretation of the world of The Macallan.”

Testino, a self confessed fan of single malts, said that the feeling of celebration when friends, or indeed strangers, share a whisky, is what he chose to represent in each of his photographs. He said: “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!”

Ken Grier, director of The Macallan, believes Mario was the obvious choice for the company’s fifth and penultimate choice in the series. He said: “As one of the world’s truly great whiskies, we seek to collaborate with the best photographers in the world; not just those who have the technical ability, but something more. The Macallan Masters of Photography is about the personal touch; we work with photographers with whom we have a shared passion to create beautiful collectables. Mario’s emotional engagement, coupled with the level of his creative involvement, heralds an evolution of the role of the Master in the Masters of Photography series, one which has brought about an exciting visual celebration of our fundamental Six Pillars. Not only is he a historically important giant in contemporary photography, his elegance, charm and gentlemanly approach to creating this ultimate party have made him both a joy and an inspiration to work with.”

Tasting notes:

The whisky itself is stunning, as you’d expect for the price.

The nose is all sweet sherry. Light with heavy hints of citrus as opposed to the rich, dried fruits you normally associate with Macallan. The palate is a rolling wash of flavour that coats the mouth. At first sharp and sweet as the nose suggests, before quickly giving way to a white chocolate smoothness tinged with hints of those citrus fruits that linger still from the nosing. The finish is all fruit, orange and pineapple tempered with raisins, it won’t leave your mouth for a satisfyingly long time, which is good because you won’t want it to.

Each edition comprises a different Mario Testino print, an exclusive photo-archival booklet featuring a total of 20 images, shot by Testino during the process, one bottle of the single malt whisky and six miniatures from each of the selected six casks.

• Mario Testino edition will be available in the UK from specialist whisky retailers, priced at £2215.