The narrative of the last few years has been around romanticising life. Taking time to enjoy the little things and slowing down the world’s frenetic pace to truly savour the act of being alive. This experience is reflected in Glenmorangie’s new art and culture endeavour, The Delicious Design Project. This luxury single malt brand from the house of Moët Hennessy India is trying to amalgamate art and music with India’s favourite spirit as the backdrop.
In 3 fantastical moments, titled Khuld, Raas and Shararat Indian-American musician, Karsh Kale and artist, Nikunj Patel of Studio Moebius have created an immersive long-form digital art series. This whimsical project explores how Indians consume whisky and the shifting trends in the space.
With bright colour blocking and traditional Indian motifs, it reflects the soul of India. Through the three flowing movements, it juxtaposes old-world luxury with modern-day trends to encapsulate how people like to drink. We spoke with Smriti Sekhsaria the Marketing Director at Moët Hennessy India on how this project came to life and how it reflects the whisky space in India.
What was the inspiration behind the project?
The Delicious Design Project has been in our thoughts for about a year. It started off when we released a new brand direction which was a space that was colourful and magical with a core of intrigue. Whiskey has a lot of old codes but these are the new codes we adopted this year. We wanted to bring the manifestation of the brand to an Indian context.
How do the music and imagery reflect the whisky?
There’s design and wonder and the colours of India, which is so fertile as an environment. Similarly, the music space is also very vibrant and creatively fertile.
There are a lot of fruits and fertile tones and space for openness and nature. Our original whisky has a lot of tones of citrus so we use a lot of tones of orange so we wanted to assert and reflect that. The floral elements reflect that although it’s a whisky which is full of flavour by itself, even if you look at it as a cocktail it’s still got a lot of potential. We wanted to move away from the regular codes of how you drink whiskey and say ‘drink whisky the way you want to drink it.’
Can you explain the significance of the 3 movements?
It all ties back to the occasionality of consumption. A lot of it comes from what we hear from our consumers in India and a lot is also based on where we want to go. At bars people are drinking a larger variety of cocktails irrespective of the spirit that’s in it, it’s based more on the appeal, the bartender’s recommendation and the credibility of the place, based on this even non-whisky drinkers might try a whisky. To reflect that one of the scenarios shows a rooftop party in a city environment to show how the current conversation is going around cocktails.
The second scenario is a luxury, beautiful outdoor setting that evokes the heritage of India. Think of a Haveli in Rajasthan or a beautiful old bungalow in Kolkata. We were trying to go for an environment that’s immersed in luxury and classic hospitality. We tried to replicate that joy of sipping on a single malt while gazing out over a lake and enjoying a holiday where you can get away from our usual very tense, busy days. So when you do make time for yourself, how you can find that solitude and enjoy a drink?
The third scenario went into a more natural space with a cabana where you’re enjoying intimate moments with friends or loved ones, and how you discern what you’re drinking then. Is it a celebratory cocktail or a neat single malt over quiet conversations? We see a lot of Indians travelling more and they’re choosing more luxurious places when they do, both in and out of India. They’re also hosting a lot more at home and the third scenario reflects that diversity.
Why are giraffes so prominent in an Indian-oriented design?
Glenmorangie has the tallest stills in its distillery in Scotland and the taller the still, the more purified the whisky. Tall stills mean slower distillation and more contact with the copper which removes heavier, oiler notes resulting in an elevation of fruity and floral notes. And these stills are actually the height of a male giraffe. We also give back to giraffe conservation since they’re a species whose numbers have been dwindling. So giraffes are a very integral part of our brand.
What predictions do you have for the whisky space in 2023?
I think in alcohol, India is neck to neck with global trends. The Indian consumer is becoming very versatile in their alcohol consumption. Through our research, we found that about 90% of consumers are open to trying something new. Thanks to the pandemic, we saw a lot of experimentation, openness and a lot of pantry bartenders which culminated in people looking at spirits in a very different way. And since India is such a large whisky-drinking population, we’ve seen that movement. In 2023, the consumer will have different occasions, and become a bit more discerning about how and when they drink. People are becoming more clear that there are certain drinks they’ll have at home, and some they’ll have when they’re going out. In India, we haven’t seen such demarcations, but now people are becoming more discerning.
What’s the future of Delicious Design?
This is the first manifestation of the Delicious Design Project, we hope to bring it back in different ways such as events where we can interact more directly with our consumers. We’ll find ways to manifest these visuals in new ways and make this property large enough to continue as we build.
What is your drink of choice?
I’m actually not a big drinker, but when I do it’s a mild cocktail. Unless its one of our premium bottles and I drink those neat because it’s the best way to taste and enjoy all the flavours.