Hirst’s serene painting “Winter Slumber” captures the contrast between the warm, wooden interior of the historic warehouse at Woodford Reserve, and the stone exterior of the building. This snowy scene, recognizable to all guests who have visited Woodford Reserve over the last 24 years, celebrates the fact that whiskey ages year-around, regardless of weather.
“Nick Hirst effortlessly captures the distillery with an artful elegance and architect’s eye,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris.
The one-liter bottles are on sale across the United States and the globe with a retail price of $49.99.
“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,” explains Hirst. “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.”
Specializing in historic buildings, Hirst has worked for 20 years in sites across the world from North Africa to the Middle East and Russia, identifying and analyzing the unique qualities of each building by drawing and sketching. His work has previously exhibited at the prestigious Royal Academy and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in London.
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 said.