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Issue 108 - Spirit of Art

Whisky Magazine Issue 108
December 2012


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Spirit of Art

Martin Mitchell goes beyond words into visual tasting notes

Edvard Munch is credited with saying, “I paint only what I saw, not what I see”.

The Norwegian artist, whose Scream fetched $119.9 million at Sotheby's, New York, earlier this year, might well have been pushed therefore –were he alive! – to keep up with the prodigious output of two young artists, Silvie Wallington and Sam Mead, at a recent art and whisky event staged in London by leading independent spirits retailers, The Whisky Exchange. During a tasting conducted by Martine Nouet they conjured from taste and verbal description alone four original paintings each, in about 90 minutes, and they truly wowed the audience of 40-plus with their extraordinarily perceptive results.

Martine Nouet, well known in these pages and noted for her pioneering pairings of whisky with food, nature, music and virtually any other mood-enhancing stimulation which she feels sits comfortably with a dram, finally fulfilled an ambition at one of London's premier hospitality venues, Vinopolis, with the presentation of the aptly-titled “Whisky – Spirit of Art”; a unique pairing of graphic art and malt whisky.

Choosing four outstanding, complex and intriguing whiskies, two from Islay and two from Speyside, she set about suggesting that from taste alone could emerge graphic interpretations that illustrated not just the whiskies but their natural source.

Neither Silvie nor Sam had ever visited these whisky producing areas of Scotland and had only a brief prior exposure to Martine's tasti...

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