The Macallan: Perfect Shots

Albert Watson Captures the Magic of the Iconic Whisky Maker

Scottish photographer Albert Watson is known for his arresting celebrity portraits—from the unlikely pairing of Alfred Hitchcock with a limp goose, to his startling double exposure of Mick Jagger and a leopard. But his lens is focused on an A-list subject of another sort this week, with the launch of the 2010 installment of The Macallan’s Masters of Photography series. Conceived as a way to examine both the complex processes of whisky production and image-making, the first collection was shot in 2008 by Rankin, who told the tale of the estate itself. Watson (who was awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Award this year) traced the journey of The Macallan’s oak casks from the forests of northern Spain to Andalucia, where they are fired and seasoned with dry oloroso sherry before arriving at the Speyside distillery. In line with Watson’s pedigree, the documentation of the trip is a far cry from travel snapshots; rather, the portfolio contains a selection of stunning platinum prints. “I wanted to do something graphically solid and a bit more monumental—monumental in the sense of something heavy looking; they’re shot with a level of contrast and richness,” he explains. Thirty-six of these images will be available to accompany an equal number of bottles of The Macallan Fine and Rare 1946—the year Watson first met his future wife, Elizabeth. For those who’d like to mark their own occasions with the esteemed spirit, mixologist Patsy Christie serves up three Macallan inspired cocktails here.

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