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Issue 93 - The Jewel of Orkney

Whisky Magazine Issue 93
January 2011


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The Jewel of Orkney

Neil J. Ridley talks to Scottish jewellery designer Maeve Gilles about the inspiration behind Highland Park's 50 Year Old

Beauty is indeed truly in the eye of the beholder and recently, this classic old adage has perhaps never been more relevant within the design and packaging concepts of the global super premium whisky market. In the past few years, several releases have set to challenge the artistic and aesthetic perceptions of the high end whisky drinker, as well as their palates, such as Macallan's association with Lalique Crystal and, more specifically, their 64 Years Old release, housed within a unique crystal decanter, made using the ancient ‘cire perdue' or ‘lost wax' method.

But the interest in unique bottle designs has been taken to an altogether more creative level by Highland Park. It has been working closely with Scottish born, multiaward winning jewellery designer Maeve Gillies on the housing for its very own gem, the oldest release in the distillery's portfolio, Highland Park 50 Years Old.

After graduating with a degree in Jewellery and Goldsmithing from the Edinburgh College of Art, Maeve found her niche in the design of engagement and bridal jewellery and co-founded MaeVona in New York City, which specialises in Celtic-inspired jewellery designs. So just how did the association with Highland Park come about?

“I'm actually a global ambassador for Scotland,” explains Maeve as we meet up before the official launch of the whisky at London's flagship Harrod's shop in Knightsbridge. “All my products have a Scottish theme. I happened to be doing a talk at an event some tim...

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