Just over a year since The Macallan and Bentley Motors locked arms in their fight for a sustainable future, the two luxury brands have revealed the first product collaboration designed to drive their joint mission forward: Horizon.
Nothing short of ground-breaking from both a design and production point of view, The Macallan Horizon is most notable for its horizontal stature (usually a no-no for whisky storage). However, so much more has gone into this decanter, with the attention to detail and ambition matching that of a Bentley car.
The decanter twists 180 degrees from the base to its top: a remarkable feat of creation. The decanter does not have a standing base so can only be stored in its case. This twist reflects motion through space and time. Bentley consider themselves masters of the former and The Macallan, the latter.
This idea of motion is also reflected in the case. That takes its inspiration from the sweeping lines Bentley’s car designers use in the very first stage of envisioning a new model. Moving from right to left, separate strands twist with the bottle’s curvatures and lock it in place.
The most impressive aspect of The Macallan Horizon decanter is not necessarily the design but the materials used to create it. In the name of each brand’s environmental goals, each of the decanter’s five materials (copper, glass, leather, aluminum, wood) have been either recycled from waste materials or sustainably sourced from responsible suppliers.
The copper comes from The Macallan’s disused spirit stills while Bentley provided waste aluminum from its production line. Both the glass and wood comes from recycled materials, meaning the only new product is the leather. For that, The Macallan sought a local carbon-neutral supplier.
Both The Macallan and Bentley Motors have set ambitious goals to be carbon neutral by 2030. This product will cater for a market renowned for its ability to consume more energy than most. It is a significant challenge. Although likely to be on a small scale, The Macallan Horizon’s seemingly low impact could set a new benchmark for luxury packaging.
The sixth material, which brings Horizon in line with The Macallan’s Six Pillars, is the whisky itself.
Elite Traveler was among a select group of media invited to the unveiling of the Horizon decanter at The Macallan Estate. But, rather curiously, we were told that information on the Horizon whisky would not be available for another year.
Taking a leaf out of Bentley’s usual product launch process, which reveals new models long before they are due to arrive in showrooms, The Macallan has unveiled the Horizon in its prototype form with a general release planned for summer 2023.
It flips the whisky product model on its head. Usually, the distillery would find a special whisky and then design a decanter for it. The Reach (the oldest whisky ever bottled), for example, was always destined for a special decanter. This seems to be the reverse. The Macallan and Bentley have designed an amazing decanter and now need the whisky.
Those at The Macallan say they have already done the work on that front. Master whisky maker Kirsteen Campbell has already earmarked something special. While we don’t know the age or the abundance of the liquid in question, we were at least told it would be befitting of the decanter designed for it.
In creating the whisky, Campbell drew inspiration from a visit to Bentley’s HQ in Crewe, England. We can only speculate on the characteristics that might coincide with a Bentley car (perhaps something effortlessly powerful with leather notes would do the trick).
Details on the whisky are expected to be unveiled alongside the price and its availability in summer 2023.