Pernod Ricard’s Royal Salute has unveiled the second edition in its Art of Wonder collection: the Royal Salute Time Chamber by Conrad Shawcross.
The series of exceptional art pieces, created to accompany exceptional blends, is the result of partnerships with a selection of visionary artists, who have been invited to take inspiration from the art of whisky blending to create “a lasting tribute to the transformative power of creativity”.
For the second iteration in the Art of Wonder series, world-renowned sculptor Shawcross chose to showcase the link between the concept of time in the realm of fine art and in luxury whisky.
The resulting piece, the Royal Salute Time Chamber by Conrad Shawcross, merges a hand-spun glass disc with a crystal decanter. It holds a bespoke 53 Year Old Royal Salute blend.
A tribute to whisky blending
An exclusive release of just 21 units, the Royal Salute Time Chamber by Conrad Shawcross will be officially revealed at this month’s Frieze Art Fair in London. It will be available for purchase at selected retailers. The RRP is US$120,000.
The full expression of Shawcross’ concept, entitled ‘Beyond The Beginning’, will be exhibited at the event, within the Royal Salute Gallery Bar, from 11-15 October.
Guests will be welcomed into a private salon where the Time Chamber will be displayed alongside and complemented by a second piece in Shawcross’ body of work. ‘The Limit of Everything’ is a light installation composed of three articulated arms.
The two pieces will come together in a sensorial experience, immersing guests in a world that perfectly marries the respective art of both Royal Salute and the sculptor, according to the brand.
Commenting on the collaboration, Shawcross noted: “For this body of work, I was inspired following my visit to Strathisla Distillery in Scotland, where the most precious Royal Salute blends are safeguarded.
“I was struck by the sheer amount of time contained in the age statement of this bespoke blend, and wanted to capture this in multiple elements of the art piece.
“The disc reflects the endless star systems in the night sky, while the spindle and decanter form a sort of spike, like an arrow through a target which represents a vector of time, implying strong directionality.”
Expertly crafted by Royal Salute Master Blender Sandy Hyslop, the liquid’s age statement acknowledges the year 1953, in which Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, and Royal Salute established.
The finest whiskies from across Scotland were hand-selected and matured in a mix of European and American Oak casks. The resulting blend features rich, fruity notes on the nose; a bouquet of juicy berries, rich toffee, roasted almonds and spicy stem ginger on the palate; and a long and sweet finish with a hint of spice.
Hyslop commented: “Just like the theme of time that has inspired Conrad’s piece of art, time is at the core of what we do when blending Royal Salute expressions. It factors into the incredible scarcity of the delicate, high-aged stock that we used in this blend.
“Working with these whiskies infuses a greater sense of appreciation for the time represented by their age. Time is a crucial element in the making of whisky. You can’t rush the slow maturation of these exceptional liquids over decades and generations.”
He concluded: “Only by allowing the progression of time to take its effect on a whisky are we able to experience the extraordinary richness and depth of character of flavours that develop through time alone.”