Five out of the 21 limited edition collectible sets that comprise the Forces of Nature by Kate MccGwire collection from aged Scotch whisky master Royal Salute are being released into global travel retail at key hubs around the world.
Each set in the new collection, which celebrates the world of art, contains a bespoke piece of art handmade by MccGwire (a celebrated British sculptor) and an exclusive crystal decanter housing an ultra-rare 53 Year Old blend encased in a custom, hand-crafted wooden cabinet.
It’s accompanied by an art book detailing the collaboration between the brand and the artist.
The price tag is a cool RRP $90,000.
Rolling out from this month onwards, the sets will be available in travel retail at each of the following hubs: Hainan, China (outlet to be announced), Sydney Airport, London’s Heathrow Airport, Dubai International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport.
The first reveal in the travel retail channel will take place at the inaugural World of Wines and Spirits (WOWS) event at Changi Airport (28-30 October 2022).
The set will also be displayed from mid-November at the Royal Salute pop-up boutique in Changi Airport’s Terminal 3, which will immerse shoppers in the theme of the collaboration.
“This special ultra-prestige release is another example of Royal Salute’s continued creativity and exquisite craftmanship,” said Liya Zhang, Vice President of Marketing at Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail.
“With collectability and investment important in this segment, we have noticed a thirst for truly luxury items, so I’m confident this unique expression will excite travellers around the world.”
Forces of Nature by Kate MccGwire is the first iteration from Royal Salute’s new pinnacle collection titled The Art of Wonder.
All the releases in this collection will be created in collaboration with leading artists, taking inspiration from whisky blending.
MccGwire specialises in the medium of feathers. For the Royal Salute Forces of Nature collection, she has exclusively created a mesmerising body of work that marries the worlds of fine art and whisky.
The pieces have been created using specially selected and sustainably sourced pheasant feathers.
Two of the sculptures are being exhibited at key art events that Royal Salute has partnered with: Protean, the largest of the installations, was revealed at Frieze London yesterday (12 October 2022) while Plethora will be unveiled for the first time at the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai in November 2022.
Both pieces, which have been especially designed for the events, marry feathers with copper whisky stills to reflect the Scottish landscape of hills and water, and the effect that nature has on whisky making.
The 53 Year Old age statement blend is one of the highest ages ever released by Royal Salute, alluding to the year 1953, in which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was crowned and Royal Salute was established.
The expression is rich and fruity on the nose, leading to notes of berries, candied walnuts,and sweet toasted oak with a long, rich and slightly dry finish.
“For the first volume from the Art of Wonder collection, I wanted to create an outstanding expression that reflected Royal Salute’s desire to push individual craft beyond expectation,” said Royal Salute Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop.
“To do that, together with my expert team, we crafted an opulent 53 Year Old blend, one of the highest ages we have ever released.
“This is a thrilling moment, and it’s been a privilege to blend such rare and precious whiskies at the pinnacle of what is achievable with delicate high-aged stock laid down by my predecessors”.
Each decanter has been handblown by artisan glassmakers Dartington Crystal. They are engraved with intricate feathers and gilded in 24-carat gold leaf with the curvy design inspired by MccGwire’s sculptures.