With Balance, FRONT mixed modern design with Ballantine’s heritage using traditional materials to reference the production process of the brand and translate a tasting ritual into a design ritual. A magically suspended in mid-air composition of handcrafted objects able to blend tradition with serving rituals. The sculptural elegance of the set is inspired by the balance of flavours to be discovered in the whisky itself, as well as the artistry of the Master Blender.
The foundation of the Ballance sculpture is a solid oak coaster, inspired by the oak casks used for the maturation of Ballantine’s whiskies. A contemporary, elegant whisky glass balances a trio of pieces; a copper ice bowl, beautifully honed using copper in a tribute to the copper stills used to distil the precious whisky, a square shaped water jug, whose shape mirrors the silhouette of the Ballantine’s 12 bottle, and – precariously balanced at the sculptures summit – a copper spoon.
Sofia Lagerkvist of FRONT says “We spent time with Ballantine’s Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, in Scotland and we learned that his craft is a highly skilled balancing act: first in channelling the influences of nature in ageing this particular Scotch whisky for a minimum of 12 years. Then, in blending Ballantine’s 12, the flavours of an extensive collection of single malts and grains have to be precisely balanced to achieve a consistently smooth finish every time.
At the first look, the sculpture draws attention thanks to the illusory attempt to defy gravity. Then it unveils a stylish, fun and very modern tribute to the alchemic transformation conducted by the Master Blender, whose unique skills have been passed down from generation to generation.
RELATED STORY: The Glenlivet Nàdurra Dram Chair by British designer Gareth Neal translates the heritage of whisky in a hand-crafted design for modern makers.
The Swedish design group FRONT was founded in 2004 and is based in Stockholm and London. The trio comprises Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken and Anna Lindgren. Its award winning work is represented in the permanent collections of MoMa New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Vitra Design Museum Weil am Rhein, The National Museum in Stockholm and Museet in Gothenburg.
Ballantine’s is a ultra-premium Scotch whisky with over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 120 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827