Year on year, the coruscating city of Miami welcomes a flock of art enthusiasts, prospective buyers and purveyors for the illustrious Art Basel in the month of December. And this year proved no different; taking over Miami Beach Convention Centre, where leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa exhibit their works in the form of sculpture, film, installation and paintings. It’s a pinnacle showing of the cream of the crop—culling in famed names from all over the globe to congregate in the good name of art. And for Scottish distillery, Mortlach Whisky, it was also the perfect time to reveal what would be its next era—with the appointment of its first creative director, renowned industrial designer Philippe Starck.
A prominent figure that has dabbled in just about every object and avenue there is in design—from hotel interiors to mega-yachts, furniture to lighting, Starck has now found himself in his next appointment at 73—here to spearhead a new direction for Mortlach. “Since its creation, the brand has been inventing and exploring new territories, crafting whiskies that are incredibly rich without any gimmick or anything superfluous. This was a strong shock for me, as Mortlach clearly already belonged to the future. The evolution story of Mortlach takes a leap forward into modernity, with the elegance of nature and the magic of science at the service of humanity,” says the newly-minted creative director of Mortlach.
It’s the first time he’s been associated with a whisky house and to mark the ceremonious occasion, an elusive dinner took place at the abandoned Burdines Departmental Store in Miami—where servers in kilt handed out Mortlach whisky cocktails in the presence of a stunning candlelit centrepiece. From the grungy hallway splashed with graffiti of ‘Mortlach x Starck’ to the hollow, intimate room set-up, the unconventional and eccentric spirit of Starck shone through—raising a toast to the creative prospects to come for Mortlach.
Commanding a powerful and uncharacteristic flavour profile that brims with umami-like flavours that go against the grain of Speyside malts, Mortlach’s famed expertise and craft will align impeccably with Starck’s vision, hinting at an exciting new release on the horizon.
Stay tuned for what’s to come from Mortlach Whisky in 2024.