Photographer Erik Madigan Heck Brings The Flavours Of The Macallan Double Cask Collection To Life

The Macallan Double Cask Collection comprises Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies that are matured in European and American Oak casks, sherry seasoned in Jerez in de la Frontera, Spain, and – throughout the process – crafted without compromise. The Double Cask 12 Years Old, Double Cask 16 Years Old, and Double Cask 18 Years Old, are all complex sensorial journeys, boasting a rich depth of flavour. These exceptional single malt whiskies have been enjoyed the world over on the palates and taste buds of fans and enthusiasts alike; but now, The Macallan Double Cask Collection becomes an experience to be enjoyed and immersed in visually through the perspective of fine art photography.

Recently, The Macallan has collaborated with Erik Madigan Heck, an American photographer and renowned artist, one who has exhibited in prestigious museums all over the world and who has won prestigious awards from the world’s leading art institutions. For this collaboration with The Macallan, Heck sought to express the Double Cask 12 Years Old, Double Cask 16 Years Old, and Double Cask 18 Years Old through his unique form of photography, which he describes as his own style of ‘painting’. At first glance, his photography may appear like masterful brush-strokes – but they are, in fact, photos. Like contemporary takes on Romanticism, Heck’s still life photos are also inspired by 17th-century Flemish paintings, which brings the tasting notes, colour and textures of the whiskies into vivid life.

The Macallan Estate
A Sensorial Journey

Heck’s still life photos for the collaboration were all taken at The Macallan Estate in the Scottish highlands. For instance, The Macallan Estate photo was captured by the duck pond in the estate – a vibrant portrayal of the estate’s ecosystem and its breathtaking 458 acres. Wood, meanwhile, is a showcase of the beautiful balance of the European oak and American oak casks that The Macallan’s whiskies mature in. Finally there is A Sensorial Journey, which was shot at The Macallan’s barley fields, and strikingly showcases the rich, flavourful, aromatic, natural, fruity and full-bodied experience one enjoys every time a glass of The Macallan single malt whisky is in hand.

The elegant bottles themselves are also the centrepieces of Heck’s still life photography series. The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old, with its harmonious symphony of lemon citrus, smooth fudge, vanilla, sweet oak, and gentle spice, is set against a backdrop with a two-tone purple chiffon fabric, as well as lemon fruits and fudge slices. For The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old, which bears a distinctive butterscotch hue, Heck opted for a regal colour palette. The royal-coloured cloth that wraps around the photo brings to mind the liquid of the whisky, while the green and red apples depict the 15 Years Old’s sweeter, warmer flavours and aromas of apples and dried fruit. Rounding up the series is The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old, a paragon of extraordinary craftsmanship. Heck set a shimmering gold velvet cloth by the bottle to pay homage to and amplify the whiskey within and its golden hues. Taken together with the dried fruits around the bottle, the photo exudes the beloved flavour notes of the 18 Years Old, such as treacle toffee, sweet ginger, dried fruits and nutmeg. 

As one ruminates on the masterfully crafted photos of The Macallan Double Cask Collection taken by Heck, you will gradually but surely be imparted with the understanding that the single malt whiskies have all been exquisitely matured in hand-crafted American and European oak casks seasoned with sherry. Sometimes, it can be difficult to comprehensively describe the outstanding quality and uncompromised excellence of The Macallan whiskies; but if “a picture is worth a thousand words”, then this still life photography collaboration with Heck comes close to capturing the sensorial journey of The Macallan Double Cask Collection. 


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