Corn Whisky

The Oxford Artisan Distillery launches a new whisky sub-brand with packaging art by Ian Murray.

This exciting new whisky is a Master Distiller’s experimentation with different heritage grains and the distilling and maturation processes. Each expression has its own name, beginning with Happy Accident Corn Whisky featuring art by Ian.

Ian was commissioned for the label and packaging as his working process echoed that of the whisky production. Precise and thoughtful design is combined with carefree mark making and unpredictable ageing and weathering processes. Photography, technical drawings and diagrams, mark making and graphic symbols combine to deliver packaging as unique as the product it contains.  

"This Corn Whisky as the name suggests came about as a result of the finely controlled process going wrong after a sudden downpour just before harvest. This resulted in the grains becoming damp when they should have been dry. The Master Distiller decided to experiment with a small batch of the crop before destroying it, but soon discovered that the Happy Accident had actually taken the flavour of the Whisky in a whole new unexpected and delightful direction. " 

The client says:

The artwork for our first ever Grain Stories expression was created by Ian Murray, a world class illustrator based in Stockport, Cheshire.

Ian has a very particular way of working; writing down key words, interpreting the words into drawn images and then working on combining and manipulating the images until an idea (or ideas) form. For our artwork, he solicited his friends’ handwriting for the annotated notes used in the background (telling the story of this expression in the words of our Master Distiller) and printed the image of our Head of Grain on aged paper he found in his father’s workshop years ago and had subsequently buried in the garden to age. As Ian says, ‘I thought it quite fitting that it came from the soil to be used on your project’. A dream to work with, Ian took the very unique story of our corn whisky and brought it to life more beautifully than we could have imagined.

For the eagle-eyed amongst you, there is a lot to search out in this label, from the rain that fell on our 2017 harvest to the temperature the spirit was distilled at and the cask number of our Heritage Corn Whisky. Perhaps, one day, we’ll tell all.

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ian murray

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