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Whisky galore – and other bottles you can collect

28 February 2019

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

To Edinburgh, where Bonham’s is set to auction off a whisky of singular distinction. Described as ‘almost inconceivably smooth with a luscious hint of dry-sweetness in the malt’, said beverage is a bottle of Macallan–60-year-old 1926 with a label designed by the most venerable Peter Blake. Should you fancy a wee dram of the stuff, however, you might be well advised to locate your inner oligarch: the lot is expected to fetch between £500,000–£700,000 when it comes up for sale on 6 March.

Blake isn’t the first artist to design the label of a bottle. Chateau Mouton Rothschild has a long tradition of inviting leading contemporary artists to create designs for its vintages. Francis Bacon, Salvador Dalí, Lee Ufan, Jeff Koons and Gerhard Richter have all lent their talents to the storied producer.

Slightly less exclusively, beer brand Beck’s became a staple of the private-view circuit in the 1990s after it commissioned artists such as Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread and the Chapman Brothers to create limited-edition labels. The original bottles from the series are now highly sought after: examples of Hirst’s design can sell for as much as £500. And you thought Stella Artois was ‘reassuringly expensive’…

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