The Penicuik born artist, who is now based in New York City, has developed a range of limited edition designs for anCnoc, which will be launched through-out 2012.
However the artist did not just sit behind a desk to come up with the designs, he was immersed in the heritage and craftsmanship of anCnoc and the people who make it as part of the project. Returning to Scotland last year, he visited the picturesque Knockdhu Distillery in Knock, Huntly, where he soaked up the spirit of the spirit: including pot stills, ‘engine room’ valves, controls and pipes, raw ingredients, bubbling mash tuns, worm tubs, warehouses, casks, barrels and traditional techniques.
Demonstrating Arkle’s fascination for the science and mystical nature of the production process, the first anCnoc Peter Arkle Limited Edition release is based on a depiction of the ingredients: malted barley, spring water, heat, yeast, time and ‘magic’ - which the illustrator brands “the secret thing which makes anCnoc anCnoc.”
Peter Arkle commented: “My dream job was to design a whisky bottle, something I mentioned less than a fortnight before anCnoc contacted me, and sitting in the dusky warehouses at Knockdhu I knew I was on to something special. When I returned to New York my ideas took on a life of their own – and I’m both proud and pleased to see the results. I hope to see whisky lovers far and wide, from the streets of Huntly to Manhattan, enjoying a dram!”
The whisky inside is equal to its special livery, containing a new expression, hand selected by anCnoc distillery manager Gordon Bruce. Matured wholly in Spanish oak sherry barrels, a first for the brand, the resulting dram is complex and satisfying, rich in colour with amber high-lights. Spicy fruit cake aromas combine with creamy vanilla and sticky toffee, while tones of dark spices and dried fruits add depth to the flavour.
Gillian Gibson, anCnoc brand manager added: “anCnoc has always drawn inspiration from the visual arts and we are hugely excited to reveal this ambitious project – which brings our pas-sion to our packaging. Peter has brought the unique essence of anCnoc to life, something he calls remarkable. His Scottish roots, vivid and quirky style and genuine love for whisky made him the ideal choice as a collaborative partner. We hope everyone gets as much enjoyment out of seeing and hearing the story of how it all came to life, and our new expression of anCnoc, as we did from making it.”
A fourteen minute film, shot in Scotland and New York is available to view at www.anCnoc.com, charting the extraordinary journey of this creative partnership.
Only 1000 cases of the first Peter Arkle Limited Edition will be released globally. A second limited edition release will come out later in the year and a bespoke design will also be released for the Swedish market.