The Design For This Whisky Comes From a History of Camouflaging Illegal Spirits

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MadeBrave designed this beautifully detailed packaging for whisky brand Peatreekers.

“The origins of the peatreekers go back hundreds of years, to a time when renegades would pit their wits against government excisemen who were tasked with preventing the production of untaxed whisky, since the Malt Tax of 1725. Their history, and so the history of whisky, is dark, mysterious and shrouded in legend and myth. This was really the catalyst behind the creation of the Peatreekers brand.

MadeBrave designed the brand in its entirety, including the bottle and packaging for its first release, The Double Standard. This is a tribute to the officials who were tasked with preventing the production of untaxed whisky, but chose to turn a blind eye in return for an underhand bottle of illicit whisky.”

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“Inspired by the dark side of the peatreekers history, MadeBrave developed a theme of dark swirling colours. Back in the 18th century, bottles of illegally distilled whisky were often hidden in the ground, which is reflected in the bottle design itself.

The solid black top half portrays the ‘bottle in the ground’ element, with the liquid hidden from view. As you near the bottom of the bottle, the golden whisky dazzles as it appears through the black to transparent gradient with a swirling smoke pattern overlaid in spot varnish, representing the burning embers from the smouldering peat fires and allowing the buyer to see the colour of the liquid itself. The colour black plays a key part throughout the Peatreekers brand as it was often a visual sign of peatreekers at work. ‘The Angels Share’ (liquid that evaporates) caused a chemical reaction with the surrounding plant life, causing the trees to turn a mysterious (but not harmful) black.”

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“The box is a cylindrical half and half split, on a black uncoated paper, with white foiled text and a spot UV swirl pattern on the top half, to juxtapose the design of the bottle. The lid of the box is made of tin, with the Peatreekers seal (inspired by the blackened trees) embossed in the metal. The seal also features on a wax seal on the bottle itself.”

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“Although the Peatreekers brand is largely inspired by a period in history often referred to as the Scottish prohibition, it’s a dram for the modern whisky drinker and aims to stand out from the crowd of heritage-focused whisky bottles often found on shelves. This was reflected in the contrasting styles of the packaging; marrying contemporary design with traditional throwbacks.

‘From idea to final product, MadeBrave added invaluable advice and support that has taken Peatreekers from a one page concept doc to a product that will compete for shelf space with Scotland’s top whisky brands’ - Calum Leslie, Founder of Peatreekers”

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Designed By: MadeBrave

Client: Peatreekers.

Location: Glasgow, Scotland