Steven Klein’s The Macallan Masters of Photography Series

An exceptional limited edition peated release, accompanied by the photographer's film, bottle and box

There’s a familiar warmth and comfortable sophistication to The Macallan‘s most popular expressions. From their price to value ratio and consistency to a mastery of wood for those who prefer oak notes over smoke, the 12 Year and 18 Year truly excel. And yet, these core products aren’t enough to satiate a brand that wants to advance the entire Scotch whisky category. Thus, frequent limited edition releases make their way forward—one of the most recent being the sixth iteration of their Masters of Photography collaborations. This time around they’ve partnered with Steven Klein—a visionary who immerses viewers in a depth of substance and style. For The Macallan, Klein designed a bottle, a box and a film all to accompany The Macallan Master Whisky Maker Bob Dalgarno’s exceptional special edition liquid. Dalgarno full-on defies expectation here, in that, the spirit is uncharacteristically peaty. Yes, a peated profile from The Macallan.

Holding the scotch up reveals a pinkish red color—likely the result of the brand’s first ever use of casks previously aging Rioja wine. The impact of these casks continues on the nose and tongue. From berries and dried fruits to spice, there’s a considered complexity touched with a bright sweetness. And while peat smoke is noticeable throughout—representative of the time period when the liquid was initially produced—the finish is more like a lingering campfire smoke. From beginning to end, the Steven Klein edition surprises because it acts in defiance to expectation. This, however, makes it a truly welcome addition to the canon.

The Masters of Photography: Steven Klein edition includes more than the limited edition tipple and bottle. A set of custom barware tools and a horse head bottle stopper join the aforementioned pieces in a signature black leather case. Further, there’s an exclusive signed Klein print, in the same style as the grainy, saturated video he made to accompany the launch. Klein joins the likes of Elliott Erwitt, Rankin and Annie Liebowitz as collaborators—but it might be safe to say that the spirit accompanying his name is truly adventurous and luxuriant.

This limited edition box set retails for approximately $2,995. There are only 1,000 bottles worldwide (and only 100 bottles allocated to the US). For purchasing questions, one must email The Macallan at[at]themacallan[dot]com.

Images courtesy of The Macallan