Leading up to this year’s heavily-needed festive season, Woodford Reserve has announced the release of its annual holiday bottle. Known for its festive artwork each year, 2020’s bottle features a design by renowned UK-based architect Nick Hirst.
Hirst has created a painting which encapsulates a serene scene named “Winter Slumber”, filled with the warm, wooden interior of the historic warehouse at Woodford Reserve and the stone exterior or the building. For those that have been able to visit the distillery during the past 24 years, the snowy scene will be idyllically recognisable and celebrates the fact that whiskey ages all year round.
Woodford Reserve’s master distiller Chris Morris, says: “Nick Hirst effortlessly captures the distillery with an artful elegance and architect’s eye.”
Hirst explains: “At Woodford Reserve, I was looking for an opportunity to compare the colder exteriors to the warm interiors of the older buildings, while continuing to ‘tell the story’ of how the whiskey was made. There was also a strong connection between the color of the rich wooden interiors of some of the buildings and the color of the bottle itself. The stone walls of the barrel store, with the barrel run leading into the wooden interior, was an ideal composition.”
For 20 years Hirst has specialised in historic buildings, working in sites across the world from North Africa to the Middle East and Russia, identifying and analysing the unique qualities of each building by drawing and sketching.
The “Winter Slumber” painting is based on a few preliminary pencil sketches from his visit to the distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, later laid onto a handmade watercolor paper with the detail added with gouache and pen-work.
“As I worked on the painting, I kept a bottle of Woodford Reserve on the drawing board, as a reminder of the color palette. Inevitably the bottle made its way into a drawing,” Hirst adds.
The one litre festive bottles are on sale across the US and the world, with a retail price of $49.99.