X MUSE, pronounced ‘tenth muse’, is the first blended barley vodka inspired by the spirit making traditions of Scotland. Drawn from the history and experience of Scottish spirit-making, heritage barleys and the purest water, it has been three years in development under the stewardship of former Pernod Ricard Global Director of Creativity and Luxury Vadim Grigoryan and Robert Wilson, co-creator of Jupiter Artland and co-owner of Nelsons, the leading Natural Medicine manufacturer.
In partnership with specialists at Heriot-Watt University two heritage varieties of barley, Plumage Archer and Maris Otter were selected. They are distilled separately and combined in precise quantities. This careful orchestration of barleys, prized for their taste, creates a smooth and complex flavour.
Combined with water of exceptional purity, drawn from an ancient aquifer at the heart of the Jupiter Artland estate X MUSE can be sipped and savoured straight, on the rocks or act as an inspirational starting point for both classic and creative, artists driven cocktails. X MUSE is handcrafted in Scotland in batches of consistent quality, using the finest local ingredients but with subtle differences in organoleptic profile embracing the variety of nature.
X MUSE’s exquisite bottle was created by the award-winning design agency Stranger & Stranger and features the curving lines of Cells of Life, the monumental land art commission by architect and artist Charles Jencks that frames the aquifer from which the spring water for the vodka is drawn, and which resides on the same beautiful Scottish estate. During the alcohol reduction process, a small amount of water is added to the vodka. These ‘Magic Drops’ have been energized in a glass vortex and rested on amethyst crystals, linking to natural energetic healing and in reference to British artist Anya Gallaccio’s amethyst grotto also on view at the Jupiter Artland estate.
Born from a passion for art against the backdrop of Jupiter Artland’s unique collection, X MUSE embodies art and ideas that transcend time. The brand’s name is drawn from an artwork by Scottish poet, artist and gardener Ian Hamilton Finlay. Referencing the muses in Greek mythology, the tenth muse is the amalgamation of the nine muses and symbolises harmony and perfection. This muse, which is never seen or defined, links to Robert and Vadim’s search for a delicious and perfect sipping vodka and is further referenced in the brand credo ‘more is hid than uttered’ embossed in its Latin version ‘Plura Latent, Quam Patent’ on every bottle cap.
As a vodka to sip and savour with a multi-layered design and brand identity, X MUSE aims to create moments of connection, where the world pauses and drinkers can experience concentrated emotion known to X MUSE as ‘ambromoments’ (from the Greek word ambrotos, “immortal”). The brand illustration, by sought-after graphic design studio A Practice For Everyday Life, reinterprets an icon by 16th century philosopher and alchemist Dr John Dee and takes inspiration from art by pioneering 20th century artist Marcel Duchamp. Each element of the illustration is made up of four strokes, referencing the four elements in nature, the four stages of distillation and the four dimensions (three spatial and one temporal).
Milan-based design studio Formafantasma, which is about to take a star turn as the designers of the Venice Biennale 2022, have developed a X MUSE Helicon tasting workshop containing individually designed elements including glassware, bottles, tableware, and containers for presenting the ingredients – as there will be a permanent pavilion called X Muse Temple onsite at Jupiter Artland hosting tasting workshops, with online bookings going live from the Spring.
On the creation of X MUSE, CEO and Co-founder Robert Wilson says ‘Creating a vodka that invites sipping and savouring is the spirit-maker’s supreme challenge. It cannot be bolstered by botanicals or aged in oak barrels. It must stand on its own merits. This is the measure of X Muse.’
Vadim Grigoryan, X MUSE Co-founder, Artistic and Brand Director comments ‘We look at spirits as cultural products deeply rooted in human history. X MUSE’s creation is informed by this history and our understanding of the meaning of spirits.’
X MUSE (70 CL Bottle) is priced at £55 and is available to purchase on X MUSE website, Amazon.co.uk and at Hedonism, Petersham Cellar, Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange
Follow X MUSE on Instagram @tenthmusevodka #tenthmusevodka #xmuse #creativesource.