There is an art in making vodka, especially in Scotland, and in Edinburgh at Bonnington House.

Ultra-premium X Muse (Tenth Muse) is the creation 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, Europe’s oldest and the UK’s largest manufacturer of homeopathic and natural medicines.

X Muse Vodka Founders
X Muse Vodka Founders

X Muse is not only the first blended Scottish barley vodka but the first in the world to come with a creative manifesto. And it’s not all about orchestrating different types of barley – Plumage Archer and Maris Otter.

According to its creators, X Muse is a different kind of brand for a changing world. “X Muse was created against a backdrop of disruption and uncertainty. The speed of globalization and technological advance has shifted paradigms and unfixed certainties,” says Baku- born brand director and artistic director Grigoryan.

“But we believe that you should embrace change with energy and curiosity and engage with new possibilities. Out of this upheaval, opportunities to create something better and brighter emerge.”

X Muse bottle of Vodka

Grigoryan lectures on brand management and luxury at ESSEC, La Sorbonne, and INSEAD and runs Creative, a small artistic research initiative that blends food and transcendental topics such as time, history, and immortality. He has his own creative practice and is intent on fusing art and commerce in compelling and powerful new ways.

“We believe that a fundamental reboot of our value system is now essential and that there is a duty to develop projects that celebrate higher values and inspire new ambitions. We look at spirits as cultural products deeply rooted in human nature.

“X Muse is informed by that history and our deep understanding of the meaning that spirits and distilling carry. We look at spirits as a cultural product deeply rooted in human history. X Muse’s creation is informed by this history and our understanding of the meaning of spirits.’

He believes the vodka is “unapologetically modern in its rejection of dogma and embracing change, multiplicity, human creativity, and potential.

X Muse Vodka

“We think of X Muse as an augmented spirit, sublime, essential, and dedicated to creating an intense, elevated experience and new kinds of communion.

The name X Muse is the title of a sculpture by the Scottish artist and philosopher Ian Hamilton Finlay – it depicts the head of Sappho, the Greek lyrical poet who Plato called the tenth muse. In ancient Greek mythology, the tenth muse represents the unseen. Beneath the bottle’s wax seal are the words “Plura Latent, Quam Patent”, meaning “More is hidden than uttered.”

X Muse’s brand Illustration is an interpretation of the Monas Hieroglyphica, an esoteric icon invented and designed by 16th-century philosopher, scientist, and magus Dr. John Dee. It appears in Dee’s enigmatic treatise of the same name on symbolic language, published in 1564. There ate also an apparent reference to Marcel Duchamp’s key work The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, (The Large Glass), 1923

Adds Wilson: “Each element of our illustration is made up of four strokes, referencing the four elements, the four stages of distillation, and the four dimensions (three spatial and one temporal). Enigmatic and elemental, it summons up the subtle energy incorporated into X Muse spirit.”

X Muse Vodka

Jupiter Artland is a sculpture park founded by Nicky and Robert Wilson in 2009. Contemporary artists such as Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Phyllida Barlow, Cornelia Parker, Andy Goldsworthy, and Anya Gallaccio have contributed commissioned pieces on display at the Museum Of The Year 2016.

Continues Wilson: “Jupiter Artland is a unique and special place of artistic endeavor and quiet contemplation, where Art and Nature combine in harmonious co-existence. It is the creative hinterland providing direction and provenance to the X Muse brand.’

The energy of the land contributes to the vodka through water from an ancient aquifer on the estate. The water goes through a glass vortex of amethyst crystals to further energize it in reference to Anya Gallaccuio’s grotto in the grounds.

Adds the Chairman of Creative Scotland (formerly The Scottish Arts Council): “X Muse is a product of the same drive and curiosity. It is born of artistic endeavor and imbued with esoteric thought and alchemical principles.”