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58,5%      INFO
'AS WE GET IT'       
102o PROOF  58,4 %
J.G. Thomson & Co, Ltd, Glasgow


20 years old

46 %            
Matured in sherry casks
Distilled 9.7.73
Bottled 12.93
Butt no. 10212
720 Genummerde flessen
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh


25 years old

43 %                
Distilled: 1966
Bottled: 1992
A Special Bottling of Unblended
Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Scotland


19 years old

54,1 %    INFO              
Date Distilled Apr 74
Date Bottled Jan 94
Society Cask No. code 24.25
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh


21 years old

54,7 %                 
Date distilled Dec 74
Date Bottled Sept 96
Society Cask No. code 24.33
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh


over 11 years old 43%              
Single Cask Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled on 9 April 1990
Cask number 26006
Bourbon Barrel
Bottled August 2001
No Chill Filtration
No Caramel added
Iain Mackillop and Co, Ltd, Glasgow


7 years old

40 %            
'Armando Giovinetti'
Special Selection
Exclusively Matured in
Selected Sherry Oak from Jerez
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


10 years old

Exclusively Matured in
Selected Sherry Oak Casks from Jerez
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


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45%  INFO     
Pure Highland Malt Scotch Whisky
Selected by
Whisky Maker F.A. Newlands
Macallan Distillery, Craigellachie


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42,7     INFO   

from Macallan Distillery,
Old Highland Malt Whisky,
Guaranteed Pure as from The Distillery,
Bottled by John McWilliam, Wine Mechant,


18 years old

43 %   INFO               
Matured in Sherry Wood
Bottled 1989
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,


18 years old

43 %          
Matured in Sherry Wood
Bottled 1990
The Macallan Distillery Ltd,


18 years old

43 %              
Matured in Sherry Wood
Bottled 1991
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,


18 years old

43 %              
Matured in Sherry Wood
Bottled 1993
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,


18 years old 43 %                  
Matured in Sherry Wood
Bottled 1994
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,


18 years old

43 %                 
Exclusively Matured in Sherry Wood
Bottled: 2000
Selected Sherry Oak Casks from Jerez
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


19 years old

Distilled 1.5.75
Cask no. 8347
Bottled 6.94
Genummerde flessen
340 bottles
Van Wees, Holland


19 years old

43 %                 
Distilled 8.5.75
Cask no. 8888
Bottled 1.95
Genummerde flessen
252 bottles
Van Wees, Holland


8 years old

46%      INFO            
Distilled June 1989
Cask Ref: M M 7786
Cask Type: Refill Sherry
Bottled March 1998
Murray McDavid Ltd, Glasgow and London


12 years old

43 %                  
Matured in Sherry Wood
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,


10 years old

57 %                   
Matured in Sherry Wood
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,


17 years old

LAST  BOTTLE  AND  EMPTY              
Matured in Sherry Wood
Bottled 1981
Macallan - Glenlivet Ltd, Craigellachie


15 years old

43%    INFO             
Exclusively Matured in Selected
Sherry Oak Casks from Jerez
Distilled 1984
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


12 years old

40%        INFO         
Distilled in 1990
Bottled in 2002
A unique elegant Macallan matured in
carefully selected Fino and Oloroso
sherry casks
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


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40%    INFO  
Racing car motif
A Re-creation of 1920's style Macallan
Bottled: 2000
500 ml Bottles
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


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40%      INFO
Ocean liner motif
A Re-creation of 1930's style Macallan
Bottled: 2000
500 ml Bottles
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


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40%    INFO
Locomotive motif
A Re-creation of 1940's style Macallan
Bottled: 2000
500 ml Bottles
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


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40%      INFO
Airliner motif
A Re-creation of 1950's style Macallan
Bottled: 2000
500 ml Bottles
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


10 years  old

40 %                   
Bottled: 2004
Matured in a Unique Combination of
Bourbon & Sherry Oak Casks
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,
Easter Elchies, Craigellachie


12 years  old

40 %                  
Bottled: 2004

Matured in a Unique Combination of
Bourbon & Sherry Oak Casks
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,
Easter Elchies, Craigellachie


15 years old

43 %                    
Bottled: 2004

Matured in a Unique Combination of
Bourbon & Sherry Oak Casks
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,
Easter Elchies, Craigellachie


18 years old  

43 %                 
Bottled: 2004

Matured in a Unique Combination
of Bourbon & Sherry Oak Casks
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,


21 years old

43 %                          
Bottled: 2004

Matured in a Unique Combination
of Bourbon & Sherry Oak Casks
The Macallan Distillers Ltd,  Easter Elchies,   


25 years old

43 %    INFO            
Bottled: 2004
Matured in a Unique Combination of
Bourbon & Sherry Oak Casks
The Macallan Distillers Ltd, Easter Elchies,
THE  MACALLAN  INFO:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


40 %                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

FINE  OAK                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

TRIPLE  CASK  MATURED                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Highland Single malt Scotch Whisky                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Distilled and bottled by                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

The Macallan Distillers Ltd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Easter Elchies  Craigellachie

43 %                                  
1 9 8 9

Distilled 1989
Bottled 2009
Special Edition Scotch Whisky
Forbes Ross & Co.Ltd.
Distillers Rutherglen

VINTAGE  2 0 0 4   
9 years old

43 %                                  
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 2004
Bottled 2013
Selected, Produced, Matured and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

VINTAGE  2 0 0 5
9 years old

43 %                                   
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 2005
Bottled 2014
Selected, produced, matured and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

VINTAGE  2 0 0 4   
9 years old
43 %                                  
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 2004
Bottled 2013
Selected, Produced, Matured and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

VINTAGE  2 0 0 5
9 years old
43 %                                   
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 2005
Bottled 2014
Selected, produced, matured and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

VINTAGE  2 0 0 4   
9 years old
43 %                                   
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 2004
Bottled 2013
Selected, Produced, Matured and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

VINTAGE  2 0 0 5
9 years old
43 %                                   
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 2005
Bottled 2014
Selected, produced, matured and Bottled by
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

Highland Malt

Craigellachie, Banffshire. Eigendom van The Macallan Distillers Limited.
De officiële geschiedenis van The Macallan begint in 1824, toen de 38- jarige Alexander Reid een licentie verkreeg om te distilleren.
In de 18e eeuw werd op deze plek al gedistilleerd, het was zoals gebruikelijk toen, een boerderij met als nevenactiviteit het distilleren van de eigen gerst.
In 1841 produceert Alexander Reid met zeven medewerkers 6500 gallons (= 29000 liter) spirit en de whisky werd verkocht in stenen kruiken met een inhoud van 2 tot 8 gallons, in de directe omgeving.
De River Spey loopt langs de achterzijde van het terrein van The Macallan, hier was ook een doorwaadbare plek waar de veedrijvers in vroeger tijden hun vee, op weg van Moray naar de markten in de Lowlands, de rivier lieten oversteken.
Met de veedrijvers verspreidde zich ook de roem van The Macallan.
The Macallan staat op Easter Elchies, en het Elchies House, dat stamt uit ongeveer 1700 is nu het kantoor en de ontvangstruimte.
Alexander Reid stierf op 18 October 1847 en zijn zoon, ook een Alexander nam het bedrijf over, hij stierf op 5 Maart 1858.
De volgende eigenaars waren James Davidson en James Priest. Hun whisky werd verkocht als The Craigellachie Whisky.
James Priest stapte in 1861 uit en in 1868 verkocht James Davidson The Macallan aan James Stuart.
James Stuart wilde, samen met anderen een tweede distilleerderij bouwen, The Glenrothes, maar dat ging niet door vanwege de recessie die er toen heerste in de whiskyindustrie.
Wel bouwde hij in 1883 Glen Spey.
In 1892 wordt Roderick Kemp de eigenaar.
Hij kwam van Talisker op Skye, waarin hij deelgenoot was, maar zich na een diepgaand verschil van mening met de landheer van Skye, over de aanleg van een aanlegsteiger ten behoeve van de distilleerderij, liet uitkopen door zijn compagnon.
Roderick Kemp breidde de distilleerderij uit en het was ook toen dat de naam The Macallan voor het product werd gebruikt.
Kemp stierf in 1909 en een trust van de familie nam het beheer over.
In 1946 werd de trust privé eigendom en ging verder met de naam R. Kemp Macallan - Glenlivet Limited.
The Macallan was lang een whisky die als malt alleen in Schotland werd gedronken, en wel tussen Elgin en Buckie.

De jonge Macallan werd vooral verkocht aan blenders, die het produkt als 'top dressing' gebruikten voor blends als Chivas Regal, Bell's, Famous Grouse, Ballantine's, Cutty Sark, J & B Rare, Lang en Long John.
Rond 1965 nam de leiding van The Macallan het besluit om de totale produktie in sherry-vaten te gaan lageren en meer dan voorheen The Macallan als single malt whisky te gaan verkopen.
Dat besluit had enorme gevolgen, het vereiste veel geld. Geld om de whisky te lageren ge-durende jaren, er moesten lagerpakhuizen worden gebouwd, en heel veel dure sherryvaten.
In 1968 ging The Macallan naar de beurs, afstammelingen van Roderick Kemp, de families Shiach en Harbinson, alle medewerkers en mensen uit de omgeving, maar ook Suntory en Remy Martin werden aandeelhouders.
In 1966 werd naast The Macallan een tweede distilleerderij gebouwd.
De spirit stills hebben een inhoud van 3900 liter, en behoren tot de kleinste van Schotland.
In 1980 kwam de eerste nieuwe stijl The Macallan in de handel.
In 1990 wordt het grootste lagerpakhuis ter wereld in gebruik genomen, kapaciteit 70.000 vaten.
In 1968 verdwijnen de moutvloeren.
Op 11 Juli 1996 nemen Highland Distillers en Suntory gezamelijk The Macallan ovet, Highland Distillers bezat al sinds Januari 1996 26 % en Suntory had in 1986 al 25 % van de aandelen in bezit gekregen.
Nieuwe eigenaar is H.S., een joint venture van Highland Distillers en Suntory.
In Oktober 1999 laat Highland Distillers weten te zijn benaderd over een mogelijk overname bod. De beurswaarde komt uit op 462 miljoen pond sterling (ruim 1,5 miljard gulden).
William Grant & Sons Ltd (van Glenfiddich en The Balvenie Kininvie en de Girvan Grain Distillery) heeft 30 % van het aandelenkapitaal van Highland Distillers gekocht.
70 % van het aandelenkapitaal is in handen van Edrington, de eigenaars van Lang Brothers, Glengoyne, Cutty Sark en 50 % bezitten van Matthew Gloag van Famous Grouse.
Suntory, eigenaars van Morrison's Bowmore, Morrison's Auchentoshan en Morrison's Glen Garioch heeft zijn belang van 25 % in The Macallan verkocht aan William Grant & Sons Ltd en Edrington.
Intussen heeft Highland Distillers, ook de eigenaars van Glenrothes, maar deze malt op de markt brengen via Berry Bros en Rudd, de bottelaars van Cutty Sark, toegestemd om de blend Whyte & Mackay ook te vermarkten via Berry Bros & Rudd, alsmede de single malt whiskies Isle of Jura en Dalmore naast Famous Grouse en The Macallan.
Er staan twee Mash tuns, één van 6.6- en één van 6 ton. De 22 Wash backs hebben een inhoud van elk 35000 liter.

De zeven Wash stills zijn elk groot 12000 liter, en de 14 Spirit stills hebben een inhoud van elk 3900 liter.
The Macallan kan 5.000.000 liter spirit per jaar produceren.
De naam Highland Distillers verdwijnt, de nieuwe naam is The 1887 Group, naar het stich-tings jaar van Highland Distillers.
De distilleerderij kat heet Cyril (2001).
Peter Fairlie, afkomstig van Glenturret, wordt manager, maar wordt weer ontslagen.
The Macallan facts
Owner: H.S. Distillers, Highland Distillers & Suntory
Output: 5,5 million litres
Quantity sold as single malt 70 %
Barley species: Golden Promise
Water source: 4 boreholes

Wood: Sherry butts only

Voorjaar 1999 kregen de Edrington Group en Highland Distillers verschil van mening over het niet of wel aanhouden van de beursnotering.
September 1999 wordt bekend dat Edrington en William Grant & Sons samen Highland Distillers overnemen.
De naam van de nieuwe onderneming luidt: The 1887 Company, wat slaat op het stichtings- jaar van Highland Distillers.
Edrington verkrijgt 70 %-, William Grant & Sons 30 % van de aandelen'^

September 2004
The Macallan brengt een serie whiskies uit genaamd Fine Oak.
De serie bestaat uit:
The Macallan Fine Oak,   8 years old
The Macallan Fine Oak,   10 years old,,
The Macallan Fine Oak,   12 years old,
The Macallan Fine Oak,   15 years old,
The Macallan Fine Oak,   18 years old,
The Macallan Fine Oak,   21 years old,
The Macallan Fine OaK,   25 years old,
The Macallan Fine Oak,   30 years old. i 'J.'

April 2008
Macallan bouwt aan 6 nieuwe lagerpakhuizen en gaat het oude stillhouse met 6 ketels
voor 5 miljoen heropenen

The current range of The Macallan is:
Sherry oak:                                         10, 12, Cask Strenght, 18, 25, 30 years old
Fine oak:                                             10, 12 15, 17, 18, 21, 25, 30 years old
Travel retail:                                       12 years old Elegancia, 10 years Cask Strenght
                                                          1824 Collection = Select Oak, Whisky Maker's                                                          

Edition, Estate Reserve,                        1824 Limited Reserve, 40 year                                                         
Distillery exclusives:                            Woodland Estate, Estate Oak
Fine & Rare:           
                           Vintages from 1926 - 1976
September 2012
THE  1 8 2 4  SERIES:  100 % sherry casks, 100 % natural colour, 100 % Macallan


A burnished gold spirit offering a lemon citrus nose, then orange peel and sweetness
that softens but does't eliminate the zest. A note of vanilla followed more  assertive
by dark chocolate - with lingering floral and light oak notes. Citrus and boiled sweets
dance on the palate, along with hints of ginger and cinnamon, while soft oak tones
reveal toasted apples. The finish is medium sweet, malty and slightly dry.

A floral, citrus sweet nose gains presence, commanding a chorus of sweet vanilla notes
over freshly harvested grain. Raisin, sultana and cinnamon look on as toffee apples
and candy floss step into the limelight. On the palat, fresh green apples and lemons
mingle with cinnamon. Ginger notes hover as fruit takes over, with subtle oak lingering
The finale is light to medium, with soft fruits and cereal, slightly dry.

A warm opening with a subtle vanilla nose, persistent yet not overpowering. Orange
arrives, turning zesty and sharp, through tempering green apples add freshness and
balance. Next comes white chocolate truffles, chewy and sumptuous, with elegant oak
notes. Dates, figs and raisins lead the palate then make way for nutmeg and ginger
with a splash of oranges and apples, before vanilla returns. The final fanfare is gentle
smooth and warming.

Spanish Oak piques the nose before reluctantly admitting rich, dried fruits and an edge
trickle of treacle. A hesistant sweetness enters, then oak returns, burnished and mature.
On the palate a rush of ginger, nutmeg and resin herald orange, sultana and raisin with
Their restrained but pervasive sweetness. Clove is here and gone, leaving oak the undis-
puted maestro. The finish of this ruby - red spirit is long, lingering and reflective

Distilled at The Macallan Distillery, in Speyside, Scotland. This legendary Single malt is
Triple Cask Matured in a unique complex combination of exceptional oak casks:
European oak casks seasoned with sherry, Smerican oak casks seasoned with sherry and
American oak casks seasoned with Bourbon.
This Triple Cask combination delivers an extraordinarily smooth, delicate yet complex Singel Malt matured at The Macallan Distillery.
Distilled at The Macallan Distillery, in Speyside, Scotland. This legendary Single malt is
Triple Cask Matured in a unique complex combination of exceptional oak casks:
European oak casks seasoned with sherry, Smerican oak casks seasoned with sherry and
American oak casks seasoned with Bourbon.
This Triple Cask combination delivers an extraordinarily smooth, delicate yet complex Singel Malt matured at The Macallan Distillery.

The Macallan 1824 Range is a major change in thought. The age of a whisky has long been
the mark of its value and quality, certainly whisky companies have not been shy in reflec-
ting the price against the age of their stock.
The Macallan 1824 Range concentrates on the confidence in their liquid instead of their
The four colours, Gold, Amber, Sienna and Port are the reflection of Bob Dalgamo's,
whisky maker at the Macallan , of flavor as well as the colour liquid in the bottles.
The Macallan 1824 Range has launched this Range, marketed by colour instead of age,
allowing it to up production to meat demand.
The Macallan has taken the dramatic step of ending the release of the 10, 12, 15 old
single malt whiskies which are sold much of its 700.000 cases sold every year.
Removing age statements will allow to blend the casks from different years as a distillery
face a shortage of stock of a specific age because demand has outstripped the quantity
planned to be produced a long time ago.
Bob Delgamo:  this move would allow us to make a more flexible approach in our production.,                                                                                                                                                                                   

using colour to drive and define a whisky differs dramatically from the
convential age approach, thus allowing us to explore different casks with the full range
of matured stocks available, rather than working tp a predetermined character based
on age .For me, the key thought in this range is that a great single malt does't need to
be 30 years to taste like a 30- year old.
The Macallan has remained tight - lipped about the ages of each release in the new series,
but industry experts said The Macallan is unlikely to use anything younger than 8 year old
Experts explained that, for example, 9 and 11 year whiskies, not yet ready for release under
the 10 and 12 year old brands, could now be blended together to produce the 'entry - level'
Gold whisky immediately.
With the Ruby line - which some believe is based on the high - end 18 year old The Macallan
it is possible to use a good 17 year old.
And Ken Grier, director of Malts at Edrington, owner of The Macallan says: The 1824 Series
has resulted in us veing able to use casks when they are ready, as not all whiskies benefit
from being left to get older, some mature earlier, much like some people.
And also: The ability to continue to meet demand and ensure quality has become a struggle
for many distilleries and there are genuine concerns about wheter there will be enough
stock in five to ten years.

THE  MACALLAN  1 8 2 4
And: as a result this is one of the most observed whisky launches, as The Macallan is a big
name and every one in the industry is waiting to see what happens when this range hits the
And Arthur Morley, The Macallan's purchasing director warned that the failure to keep up with demand will lead to rising retail prices for consumers.
He explains: most distillers have put their prices up recently, particularly in the aged stocks,
A lot og the Glenfiddich range and many of the Islays such as Laphroaig. As a example 18
Months ago The Macallan 18 year old was 75 pound and now is around 130 pound.
There are precedents before of distillers having done this with individual bottles, most notably with The Glenmorangie Signet, but not on this scale. No other distillery has tried
a complete range without an age statement,

Colin Forbes and Macpherson  Glen Ross
Renowed and well established Scotch
Whisky brokers acquired, in their opinion
some of the finest single malt distillations
money could buy. Earmarked for their
own enjoyment in future years the casks
quietly matured and improved with age.
With passing on the founders they were
forgotten and only recently rediscovered.
The collection is indeed a treasure trove
Of truly excellent Single Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Whisky producer Edrington today unveiled plans to build a £100 million distillery and visitors centre on its Macallan estate in Speyside, marking the latest in a string of massive investments in the Scotch sector.
The Glasgow-based company, which also owns the Famous Grouse and Highland Park brands, said that construction work could begin in the autumn if it is granted planning permission.
The distillery and visitors centre - which are being designed by architecture practice Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners - could be up and running in 2017.
Edrington hinted at its investment in June but today unveiled the massive scale of its plans.
Rising demand for Scotch in the United States and emerging markets has triggered expansion schemes from many distillers.
French spirits giant Pernod Ricard - which owns Paisley-based Chivas Brothers, Scotland's second-largest distiller and the owner of labels including Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and Royal Salute - is building a facility at Carron, on the banks of the River Spey, at a site previously occupied by the Imperial distillery.
Arch-rival Diageo - the biggest Scotch distiller and maker of Bell's, Johnnie Walker and Talisker - has selected Teaninich near Alness in Easter Ross as the site for its next £50m "super-distillery", following on from the opening of Roseisle near Elgin in 2010.

The Speymalt from Macallan Distillery range includes a series of exceptional Single Malts,
each matured in the highest quality casks selected by Gordon & Macphail

Macallan derived from Gaelic  magh, is fertile ground, and ellan is a reference to the irish monk named St. Fillian who
spreading Christianity in Scotland.

July 2017
As Macallan’s £100m-plus new distillery nears completion, it’s an emotional time for the man who came up with the idea, creative director Ken Grier. He spoke to Richard Woodard about the challenges facing Scotch whisky’s biggest construction project – and single malt’s most lucrative brand.
Like no other: Macallan’s £100m-plus budget dwarfs other distillery builds
The early 2010s were a boom time for Scotch whisky in general, and for Macallan in particular. Exports were on an apparently never-ending upward curve, rare bottlings were changing hands for breathtaking sums of money, and China’s appetite for luxury seemed to be insatiable.
Scotch was now sailing in uncharted waters, earning the kind of status previously reserved for high-end Cognacs, and Macallan was leading the fleet. This was single malt reimagined as Bordeaux first growth or Paris fashion maison.
The one problem? Keeping up with demand. As Macallan owner Edrington pored over long-term forecasts, one thing was clear: the existing distillery at Easter Elchies, near Craigellachie, could no longer live up to the company’s long-term ambitions for the brand.
‘We talked about do we expand the existing facility, do we build somewhere fresh,’ recalls Macallan creative director Ken Grier. ‘Then I took a copy of Great Wineries of the World down from the bookshelf. I looked at a picture of Ysios [the futuristic Santiago Calatrava-designed winery in Rioja] and said: “We should really do this.”’
At a time when Macallan was redefining luxury whisky – or perhaps defining it for the first time – the idea was not just to increase production, but to give Macallan a home worthy of its newly-earned place in the world. ‘We want to make sure that we have those credentials of a Mouton-Rothschild or a Pétrus,’ explains Grier.
Everything about the new distillery was on the grand scale: the competition for architects (won by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners), the £100m budget, the eye-catching subterranean design – likened by some to the home of children’s television favourites the Teletubbies, but apparently based loosely on a Scottish broch or ancient roundhouse.

Ken Grier
Man with a plan: The new Macallan distillery was Ken Grier’s idea
Now, nearly three years after ground was broken on the project, the planned opening date of June 2017 has come and gone, while that £100m budget has mushroomed to a reported £120m.
‘Along the way you get the usual challenges about the [landscape], how to deal with it and you move on,’ says Grier. ‘We would love to get it up and running at the moment.
‘We’re now in a situation where the distillery will be finished pretty much early to mid-September, and we’ll be commissioning it and running spirit in the latter part of the year, probably in November. We’re looking to be open to the public in the early summer of next year.’
And, on the cost: ‘Let’s just say the budget that we’ve set isn’t exactly where we’re going to finish.’
Some reports have suggested that the new distillery will mean an immediate 15% production increase, but with the potential to hit 15m litres of pure alcohol (lpa) a year, versus the old distillery’s 9m lpa. There is also tantalising talk of the world’s largest mash tun.
A tight-lipped Grier is keener to discuss quality and consistency – vitally important issues when you consider that the current Macallan distillery will be mothballed once the new one is fully operational.
The efforts made, alongside coppersmith Forsyths, to ensure that the new equipment produces a spirit identical to the old Macallan have been ‘hugely painstaking’, says Grier. ‘People need have no concern. We have been all over this in every way. If you want to make the perfect whisky, you have to have the perfect distillery.’
While many new distilleries are all about versatility and experimental distillation regimes, that’s not the case here. ‘At the moment, we don’t plan to do that,’ says Grier. ‘This is not the purpose of this distillery. There will be no experimental runs for the time being at least.’
But there’s much more to the new distillery than making whisky. For the visitor centre, Edrington has commissioned museum developer Atelier Brückner (also working on the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza).
According to reports, plans include a large-scale art gallery and six different rooms representing each of the ‘six pillars’ that underpin the character of Macallan’s whisky.
‘The idea is to build a distillery that really gives people a “wow”,’ says Grier. ‘We really want people to come in and to share some of our secrets.’

Macallan new distillery
Grand plan: The new distillery recalls an ancient Scottish ‘broch’ or roundhouse
But things have changed since the bullish days of the early 2010s. Scotch whisky exports have suffered declines (although single malt has continued to thrive); the luxury markets in China and Russia have imploded, albeit for different reasons; Macallan itself has seen sales suffer in the key Asian market of Taiwan as rival brands have eroded its market share.
‘The lesson we learned – which was why we launched Macallan Double Cask in Taiwan – is that that market has much more choice for consumers, thanks to the great work that some of our competitors have done,’ says Grier.
‘We had to make sure that our consumers had more choice, so we now have a focus on the “trinity” of Sherry Oak, Fine Oak, Double Cask – and it’s made a huge difference.’
Elsewhere, travel retail has been ‘tricky’ thanks to the travails of the luxury market in Russia and China, but – despite short-term challenges – Grier remains convinced of the continuing potential of the latter. ‘I’m confident that China will be a massive single malt market, but it may not be in my time,’ he says.
Meanwhile, it will be more than a decade before Macallan’s new distillery produces its first fully mature whisky, as Grier acknowledges. ‘We will be stock-constrained for the foreseeable future,’ he says.
That means the continued tweaking of ranges and priorities, including a renewed focus on age-stated expressions in ‘mature’ markets such as London – ‘the great European cities are terribly important for luxury brands’, says Grier.
The colour-coded and sometimes criticised 1824 range will also evolve, with Macallan Ruby set to be discontinued imminently (although Grier is reluctant to confirm this) and other changes likely, partly because of the huge early success of Macallan Double Cask.
‘That may lead us to make some decisions,’ says Grier. ‘Some products may leave the range; other products might be added. We’ve been involved in quite a big exercise, going back and sampling the last 12 years of whiskies, these older stocks. So there will be changes.’
And what about the backlash (in some quarters) against the NAS 1824 range? ‘People forget. Whisky is all about innovation, trying things, whether it’s quarter cask products, products without an age statement, craft whiskies or finishing. And that’s fantastic, because with innovation you get younger consumers coming in.’
But, in the short term, Grier’s sights are firmly fixed on getting Macallan’s new distillery up and running without further delay. ‘I was on-site yesterday [13 July] and we’re on track for that new timescale,’ he says.
‘It’s very emotional for me, being the author of the whole thing, to see it come alive. And it’s beautiful – utterly breathtaking.’
Breathtaking or not, it’s certainly eagerly anticipated.
Watch how Macallan's new distillery has been brought to life, in an exclusive fly-over of the site near Craigellachie.
Even with an extremely tight (i.e. small) cut there is little time for copper to do its lightening job on spirit vapour in tiny stills whose lyne arms are so acutely angled. The opposite applies to maturation, however, where the balance between large and small is more fully revealed.
That heavy new make then goes into large, predominantly 500-litre ex-Sherry casks (made of both European and American oak). A large surface-to-volume ratio means that maturation will take longer – Macallan, it is widely agreed, hits its stride fully in its mid-teens. A heavy new make will also require longer in cask to lose any vestigial sulphurous notes. The nature of the extractives in the European oak (higher levels of tannin, powerful clove and resinous aromas) also needs a heavy spirit to achieve balance. American oak on the other hand adds and enhances sweetness.

No colour adjustment takes place at Macallan, meaning that each vatting needs to not only replicate the previous one in terms of aroma and taste, but must hit the same hue, despite every cask having a different tint. It is this understanding of the way in which colour is an indication of character which was behind whisky-maker Bob Dalgarno’s creation of the ‘1824 Range’.


One of the original farm distilleries of Speyside, Macallan became legal in 1824 when Alexander Reid obtained (or was persuaded to obtain) one of the new licences issued after the passing of the 1823 Excise Act. In 1868, James Stuart took the lease and rebuilt the plant. His ownership ended in 1892, when he sold Macallan to one of the giants of Victorian distilling, Roderick Kemp, who had previously owned Talisker (although he never owned both distilleries at the same time). Kemp’s ancestors – in particular the Shiach family – retained ownership until the 1996 takeover by Highland Distillers (now Edrington).
The plant has continually been expanded from its original wooden shed with two stills. It was increased to five stills (two wash, three spirit) in 1954 and then more significantly in 1965 when a new stillhouse with seven stills was built. This process continued throughout the 1970s with the total number of stills reaching 21 by 1975.
For a distillery which has become synonymous with the growth of single malt, it is worth remembering that Macallan has always been an important malt for blending. It wasn’t until the early 1980s, faced with a downturn in the market for fillings, that Macallan decided to focus more strongly on the then new single malt category.
The management team of Alan Shiach, Frank Newlands, Hugh Mitcalfe and Willie Phillips oversaw a campaign which both positioned the malt as a 'first-growth whisky' it called 'the Cognac of whisky', while always retaining a somewhat bohemian and irreverent approach to advertising and promotion.
A firm belief in the fusion of the oily, heavy, new make style and ex-Sherry casks saw Macallan, under Edrington’s governance, become the first distillery to create so-called ‘bespoke’ casks: selecting specific trees (predominantly in northern Spain, though some American oak is specified), and then with Jerez-based cooper Tevasa specifying the length and nature of drying, type of coopering, the liquid used for seasoning (oloroso) and the duration of that process. Investment in wood has increased significantly in recent years, with a complex of massive warehouses being built on the estate.
In recent years, a greater emphasis has been placed on the nascent luxury whisky market with bottlings of 50- and 60-year-old Macallan in Lalique decanters, the creation of the Fine & Rare vintage range dating back to 1926, and the Masters of Photography series.
This has not been without controversy. Its growing status as a collectable malt saw Macallan become the victim of fakers in the late 1990s. The subsequent investigation has however helped establish a methodology to check the authenticity of suspicious bottlings.
On a whisky-making front, 2004 saw the introduction of Fine Oak where American oak ex-Sherry casks and some ex-Bourbon casks were used in a mirror range to the 'classic’ 100% ex-Sherry range. Though old Macallan lovers protested, the lighter, sweeter, flavour profile brought in new drinkers, mostly in new markets.

2013 saw the launch of the 1824 Range, a four-strong series not carrying age statements which replaced some of the younger expressions in the portfolio.

The second stillhouse was brought back on stream in 2008 and in 2013 it was announced that a completely new, £100 million distillery is to be built. Production is due to be moved from the existing site to the new in 2017.

Alexander Reid obtains a license to distil at Elchies distillery
After Reid's death, James Shearer Priest and James Davidson take over the distillery
James Stuart acquires the lease and rebuilds the distillery
Stuart sells the distillery to Roderick Kemp, a previous owner of Talisker
Kemp dies and the Roderick Kemp Trust is established to safeguard the family's stake in the business
Macallan's stills are doubled from six to 12
The Kemp Trust becomes a private limited company
The group is floated on the London Stock Exchange
Macallan's stills are increased again to 18
Another three stills are added, bringing the distillery to 21 stills
Japanese group Suntory acquires a 25% stake in the business
Highland Distillers purchases the remainder of the business
Edrington and William Grant & Sons buys Highland Distillers
The first Macallan single cask is launched, named Exceptional 1
Macallan's visitors' centre is opened
Macallan Fine Oak is introduced
The Macallan 1824 Collection is launched in duty free
The launch of the 1824 Series is marked with the release of Gold
Macallan's 1824 Series is continued with the release of Amber, Sienna and Ruby
Macallan announces the build of a new, £100m distillery; the 1824 Series is extended with 'M' and Rare Cask
The Macallan 64-year-old in Lalique Cire Perdue becomes the most expensive bottle of whisky sold at auction at $460,000

Shell and tube
Minimum 48hrs
21 (7 wash, 14 spirit)
Dunnage and racked
24 (18 stainless steel, 6 wood)
Boreholes on Macallan Estate
Liquid (cream) yeast

The Edrington Group logo

The Edrington Group
1999 - present

Highland Distillers
1996 - 1999
Macallan-Glenlivet Limited
1970 - 1996
R Kemp Macallan-Glenlivet
1946 - 1970
Roderick Kemp's Trust
1909 - 1946
Roderick Kemp
1892 - 1909
James Stuart & Co
1868 - 1892
James Priest and James Davidson
1847 - 1868
Alexander Reid
1824 - 1847

August 2017
As an investigation is launched into a ‘fake’ 1878 Macallan sold for $10,000 a glass by a Swiss hotel, the incident recalls an infamous saga from more than a decade ago. Richard Woodard reports.

Macallan antique bottles
Hefty purchase: Macallan acquired about 100 antique bottles, creating replicas of some of them
The emergence of what appears to be a fake 1878 bottle of Macallan single malt Scotch whisky at a hotel in St Moritz recalls a wider-ranging scandal of the 1990s and the early 2000s. As the investigation by the Hotel Waldhaus am See continues, there’s an uncanny sense that we’ve been here before.
From the mid-1990s, something changed in the rare whisky auction market. The trickle of antique bottles had swollen to a flood, and this sudden succession of obscure expressions – previously unheard-of 19th-century bottlings, whiskies from long-closed Campbeltown distilleries – appeared never-ending.
They were mostly in excellent condition and they didn’t appear in isolation – instead, they came in batches of up to four identical bottles. Some went to auction, fetching (at the time) dizzying sums; others were offered to distillers newly eager to explore and exploit their own heritage.
Many were duped, some completely, others because they simply wanted to believe that the facsimile in front of them was the genuine article. But objections were raised, particularly by company archivists, and by some retailers and collectors.

Macallan vintage guide
Reading matter: Macallan published this guide before the scandal broke
This rumbling of discontent led a group of people – Scotchwhisky.com chief engineer Dave Broom (then writing for Whisky Magazine), Diageo’s Dr Nick Morgan, archivist Iain Russell (then at Chivas Brothers, now with Glenmorangie) and paper conservator Doug Stone – to launch their own investigation into the affair.
It also led some companies – Chivas Brothers, Diageo and Allied Distillers (now part of Chivas) – to reject a number of fake whiskies offered to them.
In many cases, the companies’ archivists and experts felt that something didn’t quite ring true about the bottles they were being offered. This gut instinct was then reinforced by simple fact-checking and detailed inspection: labels with ‘strength’ spelled incorrectly; the types of grammatical error made by a non-English speaker; a ‘19th-century’ Talisker bottle sporting a line-drawing of the distillery, complete with 1960s metal chimney.
Many of these bottles were identified as coming from Italy. And, in Italy, one single malt stood above all others in terms of collectability: Macallan. No surprise, then, that a large number of 19th- and early 20th-century Macallans began to appear on the market.

Between 2000 and 2002, Macallan acquired about 100 antique ‘Macallan’ bottles at auction and from private collectors, in turn offering some of these for resale via its own online auction.
At the same time, the company announced plans to launch a ‘Replica’ range of single malts based on the taste and packaging of some of the bottles. There was even a book – The Definitive Guide to Buying Vintage Macallan – with a chapter devoted to the 19th-century bottles and the chance to buy them at auction through the Macallan website.

Macallan 1878 and cork
Timely reminder: The 1878 Macallan recently opened at Hotel Waldhaus am See
The sceptics were swift to voice their concerns. Those who tasted the ‘original’ 1861 (to be recreated as the first of the replicas) found it remarkably fresh and ‘contemporary’; there was no record of a company called ‘Macallan & Talisker Distilleries Ltd’, which appeared on some of the labels; and Roderick Kemp, also named on those labels, did not own both distilleries at the same time (he sold his interest in Talisker to fund his purchase of Macallan).
Macallan was made aware of these concerns as early as December 2001, with experts offering to run forensic tests on labels the following month. Eventually, UK paper expert Peter Bower (recommended by Doug Stone) and ceramics and glass expert Simon Cottle were called in to the examine the collection in July-August 2002.
They immediately identified four ‘19th-century’ bottles as fakes, including an 1893 Macallan that used 20th-century paper and named ‘John Euring’ (rather than ‘Ewing’) on the label.
But, those glaring examples apart, the experts decided the collection was genuine – or so Macallan said at the time. Strong doubts persist to this day as to the precise conclusions drawn, as well as the scope of the investigation.
The experts confined their findings to the materials: the bottles were Scottish and from the 19th century (or the 18th century in a couple of cases), and the paper used for the labels was from the right period. It’s also unclear whether the neck tags showing the ‘vintages’ were checked.
At the time when many of these fake bottles surfaced, it was still relatively easy and cheap to find antique bottles and paper. To paraphrase the words of Dave Broom at the time: just because a painting has a 19th-century canvas and frame, that doesn’t make it a Monet.

Macallan 1870
Victorian era: Macallan offered this bottle at auction with a reserve price of £8,500
In 2003, Macallan went further, submitting liquid from 16 bottles dated from 1856 to 1919 for laboratory carbon dating. All were found to contain post-1950 liquid. A second tranche, sent in January 2004, met with similar results.
The fallout from the saga led to more questions being asked. Why, when Macallan had the initial test results on the whisky in December 2003, did it wait until May 2004 to make them public? Why did it continue with the online auctions when there were already doubts about provenance? Why persist with the Replicas series – 1861, followed by 1841 and 1876 – when investigations were under way?
And, bringing things up to date, why continue to display some of these 19th-century bottles at the distillery when so many people have raised so many concerns about their authenticity? Some have now been withdrawn from public view pending further tests, but the company insists that this is a ‘precaution’ and that it still regards the bottles and labels as genuine.
What will these ‘further tests’ on the distillery bottles cover? The inks used on the labels, as well as the printing techniques, typefaces and the adhesive used to fix them to the bottle? These are all aspects that are routinely examined when authenticating fine wine.
Meanwhile, that Macallan Replica series of bottlings – which turned out to be replicas of fakes – sold for about £100 a bottle when everyone thought they were based on the genuine article. Now, when we all know they’re fake, they fetch several hundred pounds each.

November 2017
Speyside single malt Macallan has launched its Exceptional Single Cask range – a series of seven whiskies matured for between 12 and 22 years.
Cask strength: The range includes malts that have surprised Macallan’s whisky makers
The cask strength whiskies have been drawn from seven ex-Sherry casks, filled between 1995 and 2004 and bottled without artificial colouring.
Charlie Whitfield, manager of brand education and prestige whiskies at Macallan, said the range had been inspired by the ‘whisky maker’s bench’ found in the single malt’s sample room.
‘This stunning new range, bottled at cask strength, presents those particular cask samples which have taken our whisky makers by surprise,’ he added.
‘The Macallan’s Exceptional Single Cask range provides an opportunity to experience those moments.’
The Macallan Exceptional Single Cask range is available now in the US, with an estimated retail price of US$250-1,300 per bottle. The range will later be released in ‘select international markets’.
Looking back to 2004, the shock that greeted the news that Macallan’s antique collection was riddled with fakes was tempered by the thought that at least all was now in the open, that people wouldn’t be fooled by these bottles again. The recent episode at Hotel Waldhaus am See, which occurred in one of the world’s leading whisky bars, shows that that is emphatically not the case.
The inescapable conclusion is that the initial moral of the story as written by Dave Broom in Whisky Magazine in 2004 – that of ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware’ – remains undimmed more than a decade later. Especially if the whisky in question costs the equivalent of US$10,000 for one small glass.

December 2017
Speyside single malt Macallan has launched a 40-year-old limited release whisky, priced at US$9,000 a bottle and billed as the ‘pinnacle’ of its Sherry Oak range.
Macallan Sherry Oak 40 Years Old
Rare beast: Only 465 bottles of Macallan Sherry Oak 40 Years Old will be released globally
Macallan Sherry Oak 40 Years Old is only the third non-vintage release of a 40-year-old expression from the distillery, and follows a similar release in 2016.
The whisky was matured exclusively in three oloroso Sherry-seasoned oak casks – two butts and one hogshead – and only 465 bottles will be released worldwide, bottled at a strength of 44% abv.
Macallan said the distillery’s ‘robust, fruity and full-bodied’ new make spirit had been transformed into a whisky ‘of great richness and character’ by its maturation.
The whisky is said to have ‘hints of sultanas, ginger and wood spice against a backdrop of sweet cinnamon and citrus’ on the nose, and a palate of ‘soft cinnamon spices, leading into date and figs’.
Macallan master distiller Nick Savage said: ‘After a gentle slumber for over 40 years in our exceptional, Sherry-seasoned oak casks, this rare single malt is full of rich flavour and a beautiful natural colour.’
The whisky will be released in late December, with 70 bottles allocated to the US.

February 2018
Macallan has opened its first whisky lounge in the UK at Four Degree restaurant in Vauxhall, London.
Macallan whisky lounge Four Degree
Whisky lounge: Macallan’s first UK Lounge has opened in Vauxhall, London
The lounge features ‘contemporary modern design, complete with frosted glass for privacy’ and hosts London’s largest official collection of Macallan 40 Year Old.
In addition to Macallan whiskies, the lounge stocks a range of the ‘most exclusive’ whiskies from around the world, including expressions from Scottish distilleries such as Bruichladdich and Highland Park, Japanese distiller Suntory and indepenedent bottler Samaroli.
Alongside the whisky selection, Four Degree’s whisky lounge will serve a range of Euro-Japanese dishes including A5 wagyu sirloin with ponzu sauce, garlic chips and spring onion, as well as freshly-prepared sushi from a dedicated sushi bar.
Cocktails include a blend of Akashi whisky, momo fruit liquor and homemade chestnut honey, said to offer ‘the perfect bitter-sweet combination’ of flavours.
‘Guests will be able to enjoy an exceptional range of Macallan whiskies, along with specially curated cocktails and tasting flights, said Macallan’s head of brands Chris Anderson.
‘Four Degree’s superb cuisine and artistic ambience make it an ideal destination for those wanting to savour some of the finest whiskies in the world.’
Four Degree is open daily for lunch and dinner, with live music in the evenings from Thursday to Saturday.

March 2018
Two rare bottles of 60-year-old Macallan, not seen at auction for more than three decades, are set to smash records when they are sold by Bonhams in Hong Kong this May.
Macallan Peter Blake Valerio Adami
‘Holy Grail’: The two 60-year-old whiskies are among the most sought-after Macallans
Distilled in 1926, bottled in 1986 and last auctioned in the 1980s, the two bottles feature labels designed by Peter Blake and Valerio Adami, two leading figures of the Pop Art movement.
Only 12 bottles of each edition were produced, and were originally offered as corporate gifts to Macallan’s most valued customers.
The bottles are packaged in ‘tantalus’ cabinets, specially commissioned to echo the traditional distillery spirit safe, and each has a pre-sale estimate of HK3.6m-4.6m (£330,000-425,000).
‘These bottles are exceptionally rare,’ said Daniel Lam, Bonhams’ head of fine wine and whisky in Hong Kong.
‘The exceptional calibre of the whisky, combined with the wonderful artwork from two towering figures of 20th-century Pop Art – Peter Blake and Valerio Adami – represent a unique marriage of excellence.
‘Only 24 of these bottles were produced, and the sale is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors to acquire the Holy Grail of Macallan.’
Sir Peter Blake is best-known for his artwork for the landmark Beatles album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967, and designed an artwork incorporating eight decades of Macallan miniatures to celebrate his 80th birthday in 2012.
Italian artist Valerio Adami is renowned for painting bold, flat forms outlined in thick, black lines, in a style reminiscent of comic art.

In April 2017, a collection of Macallan – The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Series – set a new world record price for any lot of whisky sold at auction, fetching more than HK$7.72m (US$993,000) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.
The Bonhams Rare and Fine Wine and Whisky Sale is scheduled for Friday, 18 May at 6pm, at Bonhams, Suite 2001, One Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong.

March 2018
Speyside single malt Macallan has launched Macallan 50 Years Old, a £25,000 Scotch whisky limited to only 200 bottles worldwide.
Macallan 50 Years Old
Half-century: Only 200 bottles of the £25,000 single malt will be available globally
Macallan said the new release reflected the distillery’s ‘journey of discovery in the modern era’, adding that it was created at a time when Macallan was thinking of the future by increasing its number of stills.
These ‘curiously small’ stills helped to concentrate the flavours of Macallan’s new make spirit, it added, giving it a ‘robust elegance’ to be combined with the influence of ex-Sherry, European oak casks from Spain.
Macallan 50 Years Old is described as a ‘rich and complex’ single malt, presenting ‘sweet oak vanilla and blackcurrant characters, with a beautiful, vibrant amber natural colour’.
‘After being left to mature for half a century in our exceptional Sherry-seasoned oak casks, this wonderfully rare single malt is full of rich flavour and beautiful natural colour,’ said Nick Savage, Macallan master distiller.
‘With a finite volume of 200 bottles worldwide, this is a highly limited and expertly crafted release, providing the chance to own something world-class and extraordinary.’
Bottled at 44% abv, Macallan 50 Years Old is packaged in a solid oak box, featuring an etched face inlaid with a matt gold badged age statement.
Available now, only 200 70cl bottles are on sale, priced at £25,000 each.
The launch comes a day after Macallan announced a wholesale revamp of its core single malt line-up, including the axing of the colour-led 1824 range.

March 2018
Luxury-focused Speyside single malt Macallan is axing its colour-led 1824 range, part of a wholesale revamp of its whisky portfolio.
Macallan 12 Year Old trilogy new design
New look: The changes aim to make it easier for drinkers to choose the right product
The rethink also sees the rebranding of Macallan’s Fine Oak range – which uses ex-Bourbon as well as American and European oak ex-Sherry casks – as Macallan Triple Cask Matured, to bring it in line with Macallan Sherry Oak and Macallan Double Cask.
The plans also include the discontinuation of Macallan’s 1824 series – a range of four NAS single malts launched in 2012 and named Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby, based on the whisky’s colour
The range was criticised by some whisky enthusiasts, and Ruby was discontinued last year thanks to a lack of available stock.
Now Amber and Sienna will also be withdrawn, while Gold will be absorbed into the Double Cask range as Macallan Double Cask Gold.
Meanwhile, there are plans to release higher-strength and higher-age variants of Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old following the ‘global success’ of the expression since its initial release in 2016.
Macallan said the range changes were made ‘following feedback from customers and consumers’.
The changes also involve a new bottle design, described by Macallan as ‘a bold new look’ and said to have been inspired by the packaging of Macallan Rare Cask and Rare Cask Black.
The new bottle has broad shoulders, with a chevron cut into the bottle near the neck, and also includes an anti-refill closure and the use of anti-counterfeit technology.
‘With this bold new design we want to do justice to the extraordinary whisky inside the bottle which, of course, is what we at The Macallan and every whisky fan worldwide really cares about,’ said Glen Gribbon, Macallan marketing director.
‘We think the new bottle looks as good in a world-class bar as it does on a table at home being shared with friends.
‘In addition, we have invested thousands in developing anti-refill and anti-counterfeit technology to help protect consumers.’
Discussing the renaming of the Fine Oak range, Gribbon added: ‘We want to make it easy for our fans to select a whisky that’s right for them. What could be simpler than one, two, or three cask types?
‘By consolidating our core range to Sherry Oak, Double Cask and Triple Cask Matured, we’re able to highlight the variety of whisky coming out of our distillery and also to encourage new and existing fans to try The Macallan across a variety of occasions.’
The new range and redesigned bottles will begin a global roll-out from April this year.
Macallan’s new, £100m-plus distillery, which began production trials late last year, is due to open to the public this summer.

April 2018
Two rare bottles of Macallan 1926 single malt whisky have set a new world record after they were sold by Dubai Airport retailer Le Clos for US$1.2m.
Macallan 1926 at Le Clos, Dubai Airport
Record-breakers: The whisky was distilled at Macallan in 1926 and bottled in 1986
The bottles, with labels designed by artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami, were bought by an international businessman for his private collection for US$600,000 each, setting a new record for the most expensive pair of whisky bottles sold.
The spirit was distilled at Macallan in 1926 and matured for 60 years in ex-Sherry casks before being bottled and released in 1986.
Of the 40 bottles produced, Sir Peter Blake – the pop artist famed for designing the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover for The Beatles – and Italian graphic artist Valerio Adami designed the labels for 12 bottles each.
These were originally offered as corporate gifts to Macallan’s most valued customers, but have since become some of the most sought-after bottles by whisky collectors.
‘These represent some of the most exclusive bottles ever produced, making this an iconic sale that will be remembered worldwide for years to come,’ said Geoff Kirk, Macallan’s director of prestige.
‘It is incredibly rare for The Macallan 1926 to be made available for purchase, and the sale offers whisky connoisseurs the chance to secure historic bottles emblematic of 20th-century pop culture.’
Le Clos said that each of the two bottles had originally sold for £20,000, with the last known individual bottle sold at auction by Christie’s in 2007 for US$75,000.
The world record price for a single bottle of whisky remains the $628,000 paid for The Macallan M Impériale at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in 2014; however, an Impériale holds six litres, or the equivalent of just over eight-and-a-half 70cl bottles.
But the sale by Le Clos may not hold onto its record-breaking status for long: it comes a few weeks before two more of the Blake and Adami bottles are due to be auctioned by Bonhams in Hong Kong.
The bottles each have pre-sale estimates of HK$3.6m-4.5m (US$460,000-573,000), but could well exceed those amounts.

Farbe sticht Alter
Macallans neue Single Malts: Auf dem Holzweg
Stuart MacPherson ist Master of Wood beim Whiskyhersteller Macallan. Der wagt jetzt ein ganz neues Konzept: Statt nach Alter werden die neuen Single Malts nach Farben klassifiziert. Da gibt das Holz der Fässer den Ton an - und deren vorherige Nutzung den Geschmack des fertigen Whiskys.
Herr MacPherson, der Single-Malt-Absatz steigt. Bei Sherry und Portwein ist das nicht so. Aber sie brauchen Sherry- und Portweinfässer für die Whiskyproduktion. Haben Sie als Master of Wood ein logistisches Problem?
MacPherson: Wir müssen eben sicherstellen, dass wir genug Weine haben, die wir für die Aromatisierung der Fässer benötigen. Wir arbeiten mit zwei Sherryproduzenten zusammen: Gonzáles Byass und Williams & Humbert, außerdem mit ein paar kleineren unabhängigen Bodegas. Der Sherry muss zwischen 12 und 18 Monaten in den Fässern lagern, damit wir sie verwenden können. Wir haben knapp 60.000 Fässer auf Lager und damit reichlich Spielraum für Lagerung unseres Macallans.
Wie teuer ist ein Premium-Sherryfass?
MacPherson: Ein Sherryfass mit 500 Litern Fassungsvermögen kostet rund 780 Euro. Ein Bourbonfass hingegen nur um die 90 Euro, aber die sind auch deutlich kleiner, rund 225 Liter. Für die neue 1824 Series verwenden wir ausschließlich ehemalige Sherryfässer aus amerikanischer und spanischer Eiche. Macallan nimmt in diesem und dem kommenden Jahr 18 Millionen Euro für neues Holz in die Hand. Wir investieren viel Geld in diesem Bereich. The Edrington Group alleine ist für rund 90 Prozent der Sherryfass-Importe in Schottland verantwortlich, 80 Prozent davon gehen zu Macallan.
mm: Es gibt ein Video in Macallans Youtube-Channel. Das sieht allerdings aus, als hätte Greenpeace das gedreht, um die Zerstörung alter Eichenwälder anzuprangern. Man sieht, wie eine alte Eiche fällt, und Tonnen von Holzbrettern auf den Lagerplätzen der Fasshersteller.
MacPherson: Wir müssen uns in puncto Nachhaltigkeit wirklich nichts vorwerfen. Wir reden gern über das, was wir in Nordspaniens Wäldern tun. Wir fällen nicht nur Bäume, wir pflanzen Bäume. Wir arbeiten dabei eng mit der spanischen Forstbehörde zusammen. Es gibt dort seit unserer Arbeit mehr Eichen als vorher. Wir sind wahrscheinlich die einzige Destillerie, bei welcher man den gesamten Prozess - vom Fällen des Baums bis zum Befüllen des Fasses - mitverfolgen kann.
Was ist am wichtigsten für die Qualität des Fasses und schließlich des Whiskys?
MacPherson: Bei Macallan verwenden wir drei verschiedene Fässertypen: Spanische und amerikanische Sherryfässer und amerikanische Bourbonfässer. Diese haben alle verschiedene Aromen und Charakteristika. In erster Linie ist natürlich das Holz entscheidend - für die 1824 Series werden ausschließlich ehemalige Sherryfässer verwendet. Aber es gibt weitere Faktoren: Wie die Lagerung oder die Verarbeitung. Man kann sich bei der Hitzebehandlung zwischen dem sogenannten Toasting und Charring entscheiden. Unsere Sherryfässer werden meist getoastet - das dauert länger, ist aber auch sanfter zum Holz. Das Charring, bei dem die Innenseite bei recht hohen Temperaturen verkohlt wird, ist eher bei den Bourbonfässern üblich.

The Macallan: Zwei Flaschen Whisky für 1,2 Millionen US-Dollar
Teuerster Whisky der Welt
Zwei Flaschen Macallan für 1,2 Millionen US-Dollar verkauft
Oldtimer und Kunst top: Diese Liebhabereien bringen am meisten Rendite
Shopping am Flughafen kann schon mal ins Geld gehen - auch wenn die Läden mit vermeintlich günstigen Preisen vor allem für Spirituosen werben. Ein anonymer Sammler hat am Flughafen Dubai beim Spirituosenhändler Le Clos 1,2 Millionen US-Dollar für zwei Flaschen Whisky ausgegeben, wie die Tageszeitung "Die Welt" berichtete.
The Macallan: Master of Wood Stuart McPherson im Interview
Der Weltrekordpreis ist allerdings nicht ausschließlich dem Inhalt der Flaschen geschuldet. Wertvoll ist vor allem das Design der beiden Flaschen des seltenen, 1986 abgefüllten Single Malt Whisky Macallan 1926. Insgesamt wurden von dem in Sherry-Eichenfässern gereiften Whisky nur 40 Flaschen produziert - und je zwölf wurden von von den Pop-Art-Künstlern Sir Peter Blake und Valerio Adami gestaltet. Blake war unter anderem Mitgestalter des Beatles-Albums "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
Die Flaschen waren vor 32 Jahren zunächst für je 20.000 britische Pfund an ausgewählte Kunden verkauft worden; zuletzt ging eine der Flaschen 2007 beim Auktionshaus Christie's für 75.000 US-Dollar an einen neuen Besitzer. Die schottische Destillerie Macallan hielt schon bisher den Rekord für den teuersten Whisky: 2014 wurde eine Flasche Macallan M Imperiale bei Sotheby's Hong Kong für 628.000 US-Dollar verkauft (allerdings war das ein Sechs-Liter-Gebinde).
Der Spirituosenhändler zitiert Geoff Kirk, der bei Macallan den beneidenswerten Jobtitel "Director of Prestige" trägt: "Dies ist ein ikonischer Verkauf, der weltweit viele Jahre in Erinnerung bleiben wird. Es ist unglaublich selten, dass The Macallan 1926 zum Verkauf steht." Laut Informationen der "Welt" sollen in wenigen Wochen bei Bonhams im Hongkong allerdings schon die nächsten beiden Flaschen einen neuen Besitzer finden - der Schätzpreis dafür liegt bei je rund einer halben Million US-Dollar.

May 2018
Two bottles of 60-year-old Macallan single malt whisky have been sold at auction in Hong Kong for more than US$1m each, smashing all previous records.
Macallan 1926 bottles Sir Peter Blake Valerio Adami
Record-breakers: The two Macallans feature labels designed by Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami
Featuring labels designed by artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami, the two bottles had been expected to fetch roughly HK$4m each at Bonhams’ Rare and Fine Wine and Whisky Sale today (18 May), but went under the hammer for nearly twice that amount.
First, a bottle featuring a label design by celebrated pop artist Sir Peter Blake was sold for HK$7,962,500 (US$1m/£752,000) to a telephone bidder.
A few hours later, a bidder in the saleroom topped that, buying a bottle with a label by Italian graphic artist Valerio Adami for HK$8,636,250 (US$1.1m/£814,000). These figures include a buyer’s premium of 22.5% of the hammer price.
The sale prices surpass the HK$7.72m (US$993,000) paid at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for a six-bottle lot of Macallan in April 2017.
At the time, The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Series set a new world record for any lot of whisky sold at auction.
The previous world record price for a single bottle of whisky was the US$628,000 paid for The Macallan M Impériale at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in 2014, although an Impériale holds six litres of whisky, or just over eight-and-a-half 70cl bottles.
The two 60-year-old single malts were distilled at Macallan in 1926, matured in ex-Sherry casks and bottled in 1986, with only 12 bottles of each artist’s edition released. These were initially offered as corporate gifts to Macallan’s most valued customers.
The Bonhams sale had been touted as a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity for collectors to acquire the Holy Grail of Macallan’, but a similar pair of bottles was sold at Dubai Airport in April this year for US$600,000 each.
According to Dubai Airport retailer Le Clos, the two bottles had originally been sold for £20,000 each, with the last known individual bottle sold at auction by Christie’s in 2007 for US$75,000.
The Bonhams sale also set a new record for a single-bottle lot of Japanese whisky, when a bottle of Karuizawa 1960, 52-Year-Old The Dragon – one of only 41 bottles produced – was sold for HK$2.45m (US$312,000/£231,000).
Daniel Lam, head of fine wine and whisky, Bonhams Asia, said bidders from around the world had taken part in the auction, with new bidders from Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysi

May 2018
It’s the most anticipated distillery opening of the decade, yet Macallan has kept remarkably quiet about its £140m architectural marvel – until now.
Disruptive distillery: Macallan’s ground-breaking site is both an architectural wonder and whisky mecca
‘It’s almost like a Bond villain’s lair,’ Macallan’s creative director Ken Grier says, laughing to himself. ‘It reminds me of the volcano out of You Only Live Twice.’ Ever since designs for the whisky brand’s uniquely disruptive subterranean distillery were revealed in 2012, the pop culture comparisons have flowed. So freely, in fact, that rumour has it that the top bods at Edrington, Macallan’s owner, have forbidden employees from even mentioning the Teletubbies.  
The undulating formation of the distillery’s roof may be reminiscent of the loveable TV-stomached aliens’ residence, but in reality Macallan’s new brand home couldn’t be less childish. The structure, which took six years to develop, a workforce of more than 400 tradespeople, a team of award-winning architects and designers and a whopping £140m investment, is nothing short of breathtaking.
Alexander Reid wouldn’t recognise Easter Elchies today. Having obtained the first licence for Macallan in 1824, then little more than a farm distillery, Reid would no doubt be amazed at how his small concern has been transformed. The original distillery was refurbished and extended countless times over the years, always in line with the growth of single malt, but in 2012 the decision was made to abandon the site altogether in favour of ‘doing something disruptive’.
‘The old plant was only really initially set up to do something like just under a million cases… but we needed more than that,’ Grier explains. ‘We talked about putting another still house in there, but it doesn’t really have the right presentation character for where we’re going to take the brand.’
Camouflaged distillery: Macallan’s roof has been planted with local long grass and wild flowers to blend into the surrounding area

Bond lairs and underground alien homes aside, inspiration for the distillery actually came from the Bodegas Ysios winery in Rioja Alavesa, Spain, which features an aluminium wave for a roof that blends into the scenic mountain backdrop.
Macallan’s roof, however, was constructed from 2,500 individual sheets of Scandinavian spruce that slot together perfectly. Covered instead with a grass and wildflower blanket, Macallan’s waves are designed to mimic the rolling hills of Speyside, camouflaging it into the cliffs above Craigellachie. The roof in itself is a significant feat of human engineering – a giant puzzle held together by precision. No glue. No nails.
‘There was no sawing or gluing; they dropped each piece into place,’ says Grier. ‘They created the pod roofs like this phenomenal jigsaw, where they then took a single pole that was supporting it out, and it either drops into place and locks, or it collapses. That was a heart-stopping moment.’
The building is designed to move with the weight of the roof, which has undergone Swiss Alpine snow tests, in case a blizzard should hit Speyside and bury Macallan under several feet of snow. Even the glass fins supporting the window running the length of the distillery’s south side are made to withstand the weight and breathe in time. Steel columns, while practical and surely sturdy, were thought to obstruct visitors’ otherwise pristine vista of the valley and Easter Elchies House below.
‘The vision was always ambitious, but this enabled us to challenge our own thinking to create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring,’ Graham Stirk, lead architect and senior partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSH+P), explains.
The visitor experience, and the delivery of that ‘wow’ factor was always a key consideration in the distillery design. So much so that even a lighting designer was employed to make the distillery stand out like a beacon on the hill, giving the folks in Craigellachie below a glimpse of Macallan’s aura.

When it comes to the kind of visitor Macallan’s new distillery will attract, Grier talks of ‘paddlers, swimmers and divers’. He explains: ‘Paddlers are people who are on a day out who want to see a beautiful architectural marvel and learn about how to make whisky. The swimmers are interested in how it’s made and drink a few whiskies and will go a bit more deeply, but the divers are real Macallan fans.’
The person responsible for breathing life into the entire visitor experience has been project manager Adele Joyce, who worked with Grier and Stuttgart-based museum design specialist Atelier Brückner to create what is billed as the most awesome distillery visitor experience in Scotland.
‘We’ve got an iconic structure, an iconic brand, so to have an iconic home to sit them in now is important,’ Joyce explains. ‘We had to ensure that anything we put inside the building spoke in the same language as the architecture and that it was complementary to it. What we really wanted to do was find a new way to explore the six pillars of Macallan.’
The ‘six pillars’ that underpin the brand’s ethos are brought to life in a delightfully interactive and almost magical fashion, satisfying the curiosity of the most hardened whisky enthusiast. From a moving glass sculpture displaying a rainbow of colours found in Macallan single malt, to a moving oak ‘forest’, each interactive ‘pillar’ requires visitors to get hands-on. Perhaps the most satisfying exhibition of all is that for the Peerless Spirit, in which a single drop of liquid levitates before visitors’ eyes before sending a wave of white light to illuminate a display of Macallan expressions.
‘What we’ve done is going to be fantastic for everyone,’ Joyce says. ‘At Macallan now we will have a great number of people who are interested not only in whisky itself but in engineering and architecture, who will then come to see the building and hopefully then be attracted to the whisky and want to learn more about it.’
The visitor experience also features the Macallan archive – a collection of 398 historic bottles, plus 19 decanters and four flasks, that has never before been displayed to the public. Now, with it safely in its new, permanent home at Macallan, visitors are invited to explore the archive via a digital periscope.
The surprises don’t stop there. Beneath a circular bar designed like a Roman amphitheatre lies the cave privée, a private hosting space that looks out onto 150 privately-owned casks silently maturing within the distillery’s foundations.
Of course, like any good visitor centre, or distillery experience designed by a museum specialist, a visit to the gift shop and café is a must.

The architecture is ground-breaking for a Scotch whisky distillery, while the visitor experience has been developed to a level more at home in a world-class museum. However, when it comes to the distillery itself, innovation takes a more relaxed approach.
‘The process part of things is very traditional,’ says master distiller Nick Savage. ‘There’s not any space-age technology in there. From a Macallan perspective there’s an advancement in technology, but from an industry perspective there’s nothing that’s never been seen before.’
The most innovative aspect of the distillery – and the most challenging from a production perspective – is its layout. Macallan’s 36 stills – the biggest single order from coppersmith Forsyths, according to Grier – are arranged in three circular ‘pods’ of 12.
Each pod contains eight spirit and four wash stills, alongside stainless steel washbacks. That many stills in one room is bound to generate an exceptional amount of heat, impacting the success of fermentation within those adjacent washbacks, a process which is extremely temperature-sensitive.
‘You’re getting a still house that’s part of the tun room, so that ambient temperature is changing. Therefore you have to think about the technology you need to hit your fermentation,’ says Savage.
As such, the original distillery’s wooden and stainless steel washbacks have been rejected in favour of fermenters fitted with a new external cooling system that allows for greater control over temperature during fermentation. Savage explains that, had the technology not been available, the entire distillery design would have to be redrawn.
‘You can do anything weird and wonderful with the building and we can focus on developing our experiential part of the distillery, but if it affects the new make in any way shape or form, then we don’t do it,’ he says.
The changeover from the old distillery to the new has been the biggest challenge for Savage and his team so far. The original site was switched off in October 2017, its low wines, heads and tails captured and used for the first few runs at the new site just weeks later to enable the team to achieve the perfect distillery character as soon as possible.
‘We very quickly got into a useable Speyside style, then it was a case of primarily getting the plant running in a consistent fashion, making sure everything was working,’ Savage explains. Getting the spirit to match the existing Macallan style was paramount. ‘In general terms the consumer wouldn’t even know that we turned a new distillery on in that period of time, and that’s the aspiration for me.’
The circular pods, with their new copper gleaming under the expertly designed lighting are a sight to behold, as is the 17-tonne mash tun, said to be the largest in Scotland. Spot the similarly-sized gaping hole in the floor adjacent to Macallan’s new mega mash tun. The original idea to install two was abandoned, but rather than fill in the space, Edrington has bigger plans for that hole…

‘The hole next to the mash tun was deliberate,’ says Grier. ‘It is my favourite part of the whole thing. We did imagine putting a piece into it, but the wall at the end, which is under earth, can be taken down. You can put another mash tun in, flip the distillery and do the same again. So that’s real legacy stuff.’
The £140m spent by Edrington in creating a legacy for Macallan in Speyside is just a small share of a larger £500m investment in the brand over the next 12 years. Plans are well under way to build more warehouses on-site – there are currently 54 at Easter Elchies, plus a further eight being constructed in the next six years. Master of wood Stuart MacPherson also has hopes for a cooperage on-site, a project he calls ‘one of the final pieces in the jigsaw’.
With any legacy project comes a commitment to the surrounding environment, and Macallan’s new distillery is no exception. At least 90% of its energy requirements will come from renewable sources by the end of 2018, primarily through intelligent heat recovery and biomass.
With Macallan now selling more than 750,000 cases of single malt each year, and with Edrington targeting quadruple growth for the brand within the next 25 years, a larger, greener distillery was always going to be on the cards.
Some 25,000 visitors are expected to visit the new site within the next year, rising to 50,000 by 2023. However Joyce says the brand has no desire to become the Disneyland of Scotch. ‘We don’t have targets to meet for visitor numbers,’ she says. ‘If we do 80,000 tours a year then we’ve failed, because there’s too many people and they won’t have time to have that intimacy that we want to have with our guests.’
As it prepares to open to the public on 2 June – six years after it was first conceived – what’s next for the most anticipated distillery opening of the decade? ‘We need people to come and experience it,’ says Savage. ‘The building will start to live and breathe, and it’s the people coming through that will make that happen.’

May 2018
Macallan has unveiled its ‘ambitious’ new £140m distillery and visitor experience in Speyside, which will open to the public next month.
Pod life: Macallan’s 36 copper pot stills and 21 washbacks are arranged in circular sets
The iconic subterranean distillery, situated on the Easter Elchies estate in Craigellachie, is already producing spirit for the Macallan single malt brand after the original adjacent site was decommissioned in October 2017.
With 36 copper pot stills – 15 more than the previous site – the new distillery will enable production of the Macallan single malt to increase by up to one-third if required.
Ken Grier, creative director for the Macallan, said: ‘As The Macallan has grown globally it has been very important that we make sure we can sustain demand for this wonderful amber liquid.’
Macallan’s stills are arranged in three circular ‘pods’, sharing space with 21 stainless steel fermenters, while the site also features a single 17-tonne mash tun, said to be the largest in Scotland.
Despite the increase in size, Grier said the character of Macallan’s whisky will remain the same.
‘We’ve taken exceptional care in making sure that the spirit that is produced in the new distillery is identical to the spirit that we produced in our previous distillery,’ Grier added.
‘This is the beginning of a really exciting new chapter in the evolution of this wonderful brand that is The Macallan.’

Designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the internationally-recognised architect behind London’s Millennium Dome, the distillery and visitor centre has been inspired by traditional Scottish brochs, or roundhouses.
Its undulating grass and wildflower-topped roof – one of the most complex timber roof structures in the world – has been designed to blend into the surrounding Speyside landscape that’s classified as an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’.
The visitor centre, which officially opens to the public on 2 June, has been designed by museum developer Atelier Brückner, and features a series of interactive displays representing each of Macallan’s ‘six pillars’ that underpin the core values of the brand.
Among them are a walk-through oak ‘forest’ and cask-firing demonstration, while the traditional distillery spirit safe is forgone in favour of a Lalique sculpture representing the third pillar, the ‘finest cut’.
The visitor centre will also house the Macallan archive – a collection of 398 bottles, 19 decanters and four flasks that will be on public display for the first time.
The new distillery represents a significant investment in Macallan by brand owner Edrington, which is putting a total of £500m towards building the distillery and additional warehousing, and sourcing quality wood over the next 12 years.
Ian Curle, CEO of Edrington, said: ‘The unsurpassed quality of the Macallan is in high demand and we face the future confidently with this new distillery. It’s an authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will match consumer expectations for generations to come.
‘When the doors open in June, we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch whisky exports, and the economy.’
Ground broke on the new distillery in December 2014, and has involved a 400-strong workforce specialising in 20 different trades.
The original distillery, which was first licensed to distil in 1824 and has been extended many times in the last 200 years, will be mothballed for the foreseeable future.

May 2018
Last week, two bottles of 60-year-old, 1926 Macallan single malt sold for more than US$1m at auction in Hong Kong. What’s so special about this whisky – and what does it say about the current, feverish state of the collectors’ market?
Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami and Peter Blake editions
Millionaire malts: But how long will the 1926 Macallan record last in the current climate?
Bonhams auction room, Hong Kong, Friday 18 May 2018
The bidding is finished; the room falls silent. On the screen, a series of numbers glow… ‘HKD: 6,500,000; GBP: 614,000; USD: 828,000.’ With the addition of a 22.5% buyer’s premium, a telephone bidder has just become the first person to spend US$1m at auction on a bottle of whisky: Macallan 1926, 60-Year-Old, Peter Blake edition.
A few hours later, the gavel falls again. Another 60-year-old Macallan distilled in 1926 is auctioned, this time with a label designed by Valerio Adami. The numbers light up once more… ‘HKD: 7,050,000.’ The final sum paid by a bidder in the saleroom: US$1.1m.
Primarily a blender’s malt, Macallan is popular in the Speyside area, but not well-known beyond its borders. A small team at the distillery – Allan and Peter Shiach, managing director Willie Phillips – is determined to change all that.
They bring in Hugh Mitcalfe, previously with Glen Grant, who has heard tales of the wonderful stocks of single malt lurking in the Macallan warehouses. He’s a little sceptical – until he sees the inventory. ‘He was over the moon,’ recalls Phillips, who spent 18 years at Macallan and is now chairman of Ardgowan, the Lowland distillery planned for Inverkip, west of Glasgow.
The Macallan team start slowly, marrying a 25-year-old that becomes the Anniversary Malt. ‘And then Hugh said: “I wonder if we could go to 50? Have you stock of 50?”’ Phillips continues. ‘I said, I know I have stock of 50, but whether it’s of Macallan quality to go into bottle, we’ll have to see. Anyway, we did.
‘In the course of going through that, he noticed this cask of 1926, 60-year-old. Again, it was the same problem: is the whisky worth bottling?
‘It went before the nosing panel, and the nosing panel approved it. Two of us had the hairs standing up on the backs of our necks because we were so amazed that it could last for 60 years in a cask and it was still so good.
Cask no 263 was an ex-Sherry hogshead, yielding 40 bottles at a strength of 42.6% abv. Now thoughts turned to the packaging.
Someone – Phillips is unsure now whether it was Peter Shiach or Macallan’s advertising agency – knew the renowned pop artist Peter Blake, and he was persuaded to design a label.
The result will be familiar to anyone who knows Blake’s work – most famously, his design for The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover in 1967. The Macallan label teems with topical references to events from 1926: the death of actor Rudolph Valentino, an assassination attempt on Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the feats of US golfer Bobby Jones.
In all, 12 Peter Blake bottles were created, hand-signed by the artist. Now fast-forward to 1993. ‘Armando Giovinetti [Macallan’s Italian distributor] thought: I can get an Italian artist to do the same if you have enough whisky,’ recalls Phillips. Graphic artist Valerio Adami was commissioned; 12 more bottles resulted.
Here the mists of history and uncertain memory begin to cloud the facts. Phillips is convinced that the two sets of 12 were sold – ‘someone asked me the other day if I had one and I had to say no, I couldn’t afford it because we sold them for something like £15,000’ – but auction house Bonhams reckons that at least some were given away by Macallan to top clients and collectors.
Of the 40 bottles drawn from cask 263, that left 16. Two were sold – in blank bottles with the buyers invited to design their own labels – at auction in 2001 and 2002, fetching record hammer prices of £15,000 and £18,000 respectively. Others were offered by Macallan as part of its roster of Vintage Macallan releases in 2003, priced at £20,000 a bottle.
Over the years, the hyperbole surrounding the Blake and Adami bottles has grown, fuelled by their scarcity. Some, it seems, were opened and consumed, but how many? Is it true that a set was destroyed in the earthquake that hit Japan in 2011?
The pair auctioned by Bonhams last week had been unseen in public, according to the auction house’s pre-sale publicity, ‘since they were auctioned over three decades ago in the 1980s’ – which seems unlikely, given that the Adami bottles were only released in 1993.
What do we know for sure? According to the first edition of The Definitive Guide to Buying Vintage Macallan, published in 2003, a Macallan 1926 Peter Blake was auctioned in Glasgow in 1991 for £6,375; five years later, an Adami sold in London for £12,000 (both hammer prices).
Move on a decade or so, and a single bottle of the Adami edition was auctioned by Christie’s for US$75,000. Then the trail goes cold… until this year.
Remarkably, no fewer than five bottles – three Blake, two Adami – have surfaced in 2018. First, Dubai Airport retailer Le Clos sold a pair for US$600,000 each to an international businessman; then came the Bonhams sale; and now Sotheby’s has announced that it will auction a Peter Blake edition this autumn in New York, with a conservative-looking pre-sale estimate of US$500,000-700,000.
What is so special about these particular bottles of whisky? Simple rarity, says Andy Simpson, co-founder of analyst and broker Rare Whisky 101. ‘What I think makes the difference is the limited edition-ness of what they are,’ he says. ‘The Blake and Adami bottles stand on their own as collectors’ pieces. It’s the value of scarcity and the pleasure of ownership of something so super-rare.’
But will they be opened and drunk? ‘It wouldn’t surprise me if they were,’ he says. ‘We’ve sold three full sets of Macallan Fine & Rare, and two of them have been opened, including a 1926. We do know that some of these bottles have been drunk.’
However, he adds: ‘You’re almost getting to the place where it’s not about what it is, or what it’s in; it’s the simple rarity, like in the art world… The value of the bottle has now exceeded the experience of opening it and drinking it.’
The multi-million dollar Macallans also say something about the explosive market for collectable whisky right now. Describing the sale as ‘a historical moment’, Daniel Lam, head of fine wine and whisky, Bonhams Asia, says: ‘We are seeing a trend among Asian buyers for whisky as an alternative investment, and seeing bidders from new south-east Asia countries, including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.’
These collectors are after the likes of Port Ellen and Dalmore; Karuizawa, Hanyu and Yamazaki. A bottle of Karuizawa 1960, 52-Year-Old ‘The Dragon’ fetched HK$2.45m/US$312,130 at last Friday’s Bonhams sale, a record price for a single bottle of Japanese whisky at auction.
Record-breakers: The Bonhams sale was a ‘historical moment’, says the auction house
The result is that whisky is out-performing even the most sought-after fine wine, Burgundy’s Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC), which has appreciated by about 30% in the past year; over the same timescale, prices for Macallan aged 18 years and older have doubled, according to Lam.
Meanwhile, Sotheby’s sold US$2.6m-worth of Macallan in 2017, including its two highest-grossing auction lots of the year. Total Macallan revenues were up 4,000%, lifting the single malt to number seven on the auction house’s top 10 producer list.
Given this apparently unquenchable demand, is there something out there that might break the Bonhams record? Simpson is unsure. ‘Maybe a 1926 Macallan Fine & Rare bottle,’ he says. ‘And don’t write off Dalmore Trinitas – there are only three bottles in existence – but I think it’s a challenge.
‘If there could be a bottle authenticated as genuine of a Macallan or something iconic from the mid- to late 1800s, that could do it – but it would have to be authenticated.’
More than 30 years after he approved the bottling of the Blake editions, did Willie Phillips ever think that they would become million-dollar whiskies? He exhales sharply: ‘No, of course not. At the time, it was a marketing exercise. It was part and parcel of getting the name of Macallan known outside Speyside.
‘Even then, people would say: “Why worry about what’s in the bottle, Willie, when they’re most likely going to become collectors’ items?” And I used to say: “Well, we all know that Macallan has made its name by what’s in the bottle, by the quality.”
‘With Allan Shiach and Peter Shiach and the team we had at Macallan – which was very small, but a real family outfit – I like to think we did a lot to put Macallan on the map.’
In the week that Macallan opens its space-age, £140m super-distillery, and as its historic bottlings fetch dizzying sums halfway around the world, it’s worth remembering just how far into the past the roots of its success reach.

New Macallan distillery started
04 December, 2014
Edrington has marked the official start of works on its £100 million distillery and visitor centre for its The Macallan single malt scotch whisky brand.
Designed to complement the beauty of the area and The Macallan Estate, which overlooks the River Spey, the new Macallan distillery is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2017.
The Macallan is Edrington’s core brand and it is one of scotch whisky’s most sought after brands. It is believed the new distillery will double the capacity to produce The Macallan. Industry souces estimate the capacity of the new distillery to to be circa 15 million litres of pure alcohol, which would make it larger than Diageo's Roseisle distillery William Grant's Glenfiddich and Pernod Ricard/Chivas Brother's Glenlivet.
Edrington chief executive, Ian Curle: “Today represents an exciting new chapter for Edrington and a major step in The Macallan’s long term commitment to be the leading premium spirit in the world.

May 2018
Luxury single malt Macallan has announced its oldest official bottling – a 72-year-old whisky priced at US$60,000 for each numbered Lalique decanter.
Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique
Liquid gold: Each Lalique decanter of Macallan 72 Years Old costs US$60,000
Described as ‘a celebration of the collaboration of masters from across the fields of whisky, crystal, architecture, construction and craftsmanship’, Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique – The Genesis Decanter, bottled at 42% abv, is limited to only 600 individually numbered decanters worldwide.
Priced at US$60,000 per decanter, that gives the entire release a combined value of US$36m.
Available from August 2018, the whiskies will be sold at ‘select locations’ in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as in airport retail stores and at Macallan’s new £140m distillery, which was officially opened last week.
Distilled in the 1940s, the whisky comes in a Lalique crystal decanter, held in a case designed by Burgess Studio and handcrafted by cabinet maker NEJ Stevenson.
‘For its 72 years of maturation, the deceptively light colour hints that this is not an ordinary single malt,’ said Nick Savage, Macallan master distiller.
‘Reminiscent of a time gone by, it carries an exquisite balance of strong, sweet oak with the peaty spirit shaping its refined character.
‘The whisky delivers surprise after surprise as aromas of fruit follow distinctive hints of peat, all the way through to the back of the mouth, where it is finished off with a lingering hint of rich fruit and oak.

June 2018
Two more single malt whiskies have been announced by luxury-focused Speyside distillery Macallan: M Black 2017 Release and Edition No 4.
Macallan M Black 2017 Release
The new black: Macallan M Black 2017 Release is packaged in eye-catching dark crystal
Macallan M Black 2017 release, priced at US$6,995/£5,400 for each 70cl decanter, is the latest product from the single malt’s partnership with creative director Fabien Baron and crystal maker Lalique.
Described as ‘subtly smoky’ with flavours of dark fruit, chocolate, espresso and wood spice, it has been bottled at 45% abv, with 725 decanters now available worldwide.
Bottled in December 2017, the whisky is packaged in black crystal, and follows the distillery’s succession of annual M releases since 2013.
Meanwhile, Macallan has also released details of its Macallan Edition No 4 single malt, priced at £82, bottled at 48.4% abv and available worldwide from July this year.
The new bottling is designed to showcase the ‘structure’ of Macallan’s whisky, following Edition No 1 and No 2 – focused on cask influence – and Edition No 3, which explored the impact of aroma.
Macallan Edition No 4 was aged in a combination of European and American oak casks, and is described as ‘zesty, vibrant and invigorating’, with flavours of rounded honey, sweet toffee and citrus fruits.
The releases come two days after Macallan unveiled its oldest whisky to date – Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique – The Genesis Decanter – and follows the opening of its new, £140m distillery last week.

June 2018
Speyside distillery Macallan is poised to launch Macallan Genesis Limited Edition, a single malt designed to celebrate the opening of its new £140m distillery.
Grand vision: Each gift box contains a signed print of an elevation of the distillery
The new whisky, priced at £495/US$695 a bottle, will be on sale only at the distillery and at Macallan’s own airport shops in the Far East.
Bottled at 45.5% abv, it will be available from an as yet unspecified date, with 2,500 bottles released globally.
Macallan Genesis Limited Edition is a collaboration between Edrington-owned Macallan and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, architect of the new Macallan distillery and visitor centre, which opened in May this year.
Designed to tell the story of senior partner and lead architect Graham Stirk’s vision for the new distillery, the whisky’s gift box contains a signed lithographic print depicting an elevation of the building.
The print was created on one of only two map printing presses in the UK, using cotton paper produced by Italian paper mill Magnani – which will ‘never degrade’ with appropriate care.

Macallan: Teuerster Whisky der Welt kostet 600.000 Dollar
Das macht den teuersten Whisky der Welt so wertvoll
Ein Geschäftsmann hat am Flughafen Dubai 1,2 Millionen Dollar für zwei Whisky-Flaschen der Marke Macallan ausgegeben. Der anonyme Käufer war womöglich gar nicht am Inhalt der Flaschen interessiert
Der Spirituosenhändler Le Clos am Flughafen Dubai International hat zwei Flaschen Whisky für insgesamt 1,2 Millionen US-Dollar verkauft. Der Preis ist Weltrekord und liegt deutlich über dem Gebot, das im Jahre 2014 beim Auktionshaus Sotheby’s in Hongkong für eine Flasche Macallan abgegeben wurde.
Über die Identität des Käufers wurde nichts bekannt. Allerdings zahlte der Sammler den Weltrekordpreis wohl nicht in erster Linie für den Inhalt der Flaschen, sondern für Äußerlichkeiten: Die Etiketten der Flaschen wurden seiner Zeit von den Pop-Art-Künstlern Sir Peter Blake und Valerio Adami gestaltet.
Es handelt sich bei den Spirituosen um den Single Malt Whisky Macallan 1926, der 60 Jahre lang in Sherry-Fässern aus Eichenholz gelagert hatte. Bei der Abfüllung im Jahre 1986 wurden nur 40 Flaschen insgesamt produziert. Davon gingen jeweils zwölf an die beiden Künstler. Der Italiener Adami gehört zu den berühmtesten Pop-Art-Künstlern des 21. Jahrhunderts.

Bonhams Scotch Whisky Mortlach 70

Warum Sie guten Whisky besser jetzt kaufen
Der zweite Etikettenmaler, Peter Blake, wurde durch die Cover-Gestaltung des Beatles-Albums „Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“ berühmt. Wegen der Gestaltung der Whisky-Etiketten durch Blake und Adami galt die Abfüllung unter Anlegern, Whisky- und Kunstsammlern bald als eine der seltensten und gefragtesten der Welt.
Luxuriöseste Whisky-Marke der Welt
Nach Angaben von Le Clos wurden die Flaschen ursprünglich für 20.000 britische Pfund auf den Markt gebracht, wurden freilich für besondere Kunden reserviert. Zum letzten Mal tauchte eine der Flaschen auf, als im Jahr 2007 ein Sammler im Auktionshaus Christie’s bei 75.000 US-Dollar den Zuschlag bekam.
Macallan verteidigt mit dem neuen Verkauf seinen Ruf als luxuriöseste Whisky-Marke der Welt. Bereits 2014 wurde bei Sotheby’s in Hongkong eine Flasche Macallan M Imperiale für 628.000 US-Dollar verkauft.
Da eine Imperiale allerdings sechs Liter Whisky enthält, übertrifft der aktuelle Verkauf in Dubai bezogen auf die Menge den Wert des damaligen Gebots. Eine Sechs-Liter-Flasche fasst etwa achteinhalb mal mehr Whisky als eine Standardflasche mit 70 Zentilitern.
Die Destillerie Macallan liegt an der sogenannten Speyside im milderen Nordosten Schottlands, in der Nähe von Dufftown. Von dort stammen auch so bekannte Marken wie The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich oder Glenfarclas.

Für NAS-Whisky von Kennern kritisiert
Macallan war eine der ersten legalen Brennereien in Schottland. Bekannt wurde die Marke auch als Lieblingsgetränk von Filmhelden wie James Bond oder Harvey Specter aus der TV-Serie „Suits“. Zuletzt hatte Macallan auch Whisky ohne Altersangabe, sogenannten NAS-Whisky („No Age Statement“), auf den Markt gebracht und war dafür von Whisky-Liebhabern kritisiert worden.
Whisky, insbesondere Single Malts, die aus den Produkten einer einzigen Destillerie gemischt werden, sind seit Jahren nicht nur bei Sammlern, sondern auch Finanzanlegern gefragt. Es handelt sich um eine knappe, hochwertige Ware auf einem internationalen Markt mit hoher Nachfrage.
Die Wertsteigerungen sind entsprechend hoch, insbesondere, seit sich vor einigen Jahren auch in Russland, China und Japan ein Markt für hochwertige Whiskys entwickelt hat.
„Le Clos blickt auf eine lange Verbindung zu Macallan zurück“, sagte Managing Director Iain Delaney: „Wir sind begeistert, unser zehnjähriges Jubiläum mit einem weiteren Rekordverkauf zu feiern.“ Le Clos verfolge das Ziel, der weltweit führende Luxushändler von Spirituosen zu werden.
Bald kommen die nächsten beiden Superwhiskys auf den Markt
„Dies sind zwei der exklusivsten Flaschen, die jemals produziert worden sind“, sagte Geoff Kirk von der Macallan Destillery: An den Verkauf dieser „Ikonen“ werde sich die Whisky-Welt noch „in vielen Jahren erinnern“. Dass eine Flasche The Macallan 1926 überhaupt zum Verkauf gestellt werde, sei ohnehin schon „extrem selten“.
Die Flaschen wurden vor der Versteigerung bei Bonhams in Hongkong auf einen Wert von jeweils 460.000 bis 573.000 Dollar geschätzt, schreibt Woodard in einem Beitrag für „Scotchwhisky.com“, „könnten diese Summen allerdings auch gut übertreffen“

July 2018
EXCLUSIVE: Macallan has withdrawn a number of ‘19th-century’ bottles from display at its new £140m distillery amid continued concerns over their authenticity.
Macallan bottle archive
Wall of whisky: The disputed bottles have been on show at the new Macallan distillery
The bottles, the contents of which were found to be counterfeit in the early 2000s, had previously been displayed at nearby Easter Elchies House, until they were removed last year following concerns raised by whisky experts and enquiries from Scotchwhisky.com.
Those concerns were expressed after Chinese hotel guest Zhang Wei paid CHF9,999 (US$10,277) for a glass of ‘1878 Macallan’ at the Hotel Waldhaus am See in St Moritz, Switzerland, in July last year.
After whisky collectors voiced their scepticism on social media, tests revealed that the whisky was fake – in fact, a blend from the 1970s – and the hotel refunded the money to Zhang.
Macallan had maintained that the bottles in its own collection were genuine – while acknowledging that the whisky inside them was fake – citing tests showing that the glass and the label paper dated from the 19th century.
However, experts had highlighted apparent historical inaccuracies on the label – especially the reference to Roderick Kemp owning both Talisker and Macallan distilleries at the same time, when he sold the former in order to finance the purchase of the latter in 1892.
Macallan removed those bottles from display at Easter Elchies ‘as a precaution’ last year, adding that they were believed to be genuine, and pledging to place a ‘fully authenticated’ collection on public display at the new Macallan distillery, which opened in May this year.
Convincing fake: The ‘1878 Macallan’ opened at Hotel Waldhaus am See in July last year
But concerns were raised again by whisky experts and on social media when the bottles returned to public display at the new £140m distillery, prompting Scotchwhisky.com to renew its enquiries about them.
As a result, Macallan released the following statement yesterday (9 July): ‘With the unveiling of the new Macallan distillery and visitor experience, we have displayed a number of vintage Macallan bottles.
‘With the help of a full-time archivist, we are in the process of extensive brand archive work that includes the documentation of the history of these stunning bottles.
‘Any bottles we are unable to authenticate will be removed. This includes some previously disputed bottles which were on display in Easter Elchies House.’
Edrington-owned Macallan was unable to say how many bottles were affected by this move.
The company bought up to 100 ‘19th-century’ bottles of Macallan in the early 2000s, auctioning some, offering others for sale and making modern replicas of the spirit until tests revealed that it was counterfeit.

August 2018
The sale of a limited edition Macallan bottling caused traffic chaos and road closures in Speyside 14 August.
Macallan Genesis road closure
Road block: Moray Police closed the B9102 outside the Macallan distillery to control crowds
Macallan Genesis, a £495 bottle created to celebrate the opening of the new £140m distillery in Craigellachie, went on sale at the site at 9.30am on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Potential buyers camped outside the distillery overnight, lining the B9102 down to the A941, in the hope of being able to purchase one of a reported 360 bottles available on the day.
The demand was so ‘overwhelming’ that Moray Police were forced to close a section of the B9102 for safety reasons.
Some Macallan collectors were turned away empty-handed.
Macallan said on Twitter: ‘Following the release of our new Genesis Limited Edition bottle yesterday, we would like to issue an apology to any customers who were disappointed in being unable to get a bottle and to those affected by road disruption.’
Overnight stay: Some collectors camped outside the distillery and abandoned their cars along the A941 to Rothes
A spokesperson for the distillery added: ‘Following the acclaim surrounding the opening of our new distillery, we are experiencing high demand for our new Genesis Limited Edition bottling. This bottle was created to celebrate the distillery’s innovative new design and went on sale today (Tuesday August 14).
‘Whilst every effort was made to communicate to our customers that there would be no access to the site prior to 09:30, a number of people hoping to secure one of these limited bottles gathered at the gates causing a local road to become blocked.
‘After we contacted local police to help minimise any disruption, the road was swiftly cleared and sales got under way at the distillery when it opened.
‘We are grateful to Moray Police for their assistance and in light of the issues, we are reviewing our procedures.’
Macallan Genesis is a limited edition, no-age-statement malt created as a collaboration between the distillery and its architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
Some 2,500 bottles have been created, the majority of which will be on sale only at Macallan’s own airport shops in the Far East.

A rare ‘Holy Grail’ Macallan could break the world record for the most expensive whisky sold at auction when it’ goes under the hammer this autumn.
Macallan Valerio Adami auction
‘Holy Grail’: The Macallan Valerio Adami is the ultimate whisky collector’s item
The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old is one of just 12 bottles created by the Speyside distillery in the 1980s.
One of the 12 bottles recently sold at auction in Hong Kong for HK$8,636,250 (US$1.1m/£814,000), setting a new world record for any lot of whisky sold at auction.
Now auction house Bonhams expects another bottle to reach up to £900,000 when it’s sold at the Bonhams Whisky Sale in Edinburgh on 3 October.
The bottle, which is presented in a specially commissioned cabinet inspired by a traditional spirit safe, was originally bought by the seller from the Macallan distillery for an undisclosed sum in 1994.
Martin Green, whisky specialist at Bonhams Edinburgh, said: ‘The Macallan 1926 60-year-old has been described as the Holy Grail of whisky.
‘Its exceptional rarity and quality puts it in a league of its own, and the world’s most serious whisky collectors will wait patiently for many years for a bottle to come onto the market.’
In 1986 Macallan commissioned pop artists Valerio Adami and Sir Peter Blake to design labels for two limited edition bottlings, of which 24 were created – 12 featuring the Adami design, and 12 by Blake.
Described as the ‘Holy Grail’ for Macallan collectors, it’s not known how many of the original 12 Adami bottlings still exist.
Bonhams said one bottle is thought to have been destroyed in an earthquake in Japan in 2011, while it’s also believed at least one has been opened and consumed.
Whisky expert Charles MacLean added: ‘Macallan single malt is the darling of whisky collectors and The Macallan Adami 1926 – with its Peter Blake stablemate – sits at the very pinnacle of the distillery’s distinguished output. All the appeal of Scotch whisky – the myth, the tradition and the romance – finds its ultimate expression in this bottle.’
A single bottle of the Peter Blake design is also set to be auctioned this autumn by Sotheby’s in New York, where it’s expected to reach up to US$500,000-$700,000.

September 2018
Macallan is to start releasing its Rare Cask expression in limited batches, in a move it believes adds to the brand’s ‘element of collectability’.
Macallan Rare Cask Batch No.1 2018
Collectors’ item: Four batches of Macallan Rare Cask will be released each year
The no-age-statement single malt, which is fully matured in first-fill Sherry casks, will now feature batch numbers and the year of release prominently on every bottle.
Macallan Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 is being launched globally this month, and will be the first of three batches released this year. However four batches will be released in each subsequent year.
While the number of bottles will vary from batch to batch, each will be a vatting of 50 Sherry butts bottled at 43% abv.
Macallan Rare Cask was first introduced as an extension to the distillery’s range in 2014, as a vatting of 16 different casks it claimed at the time was the most ever used for a single Macallan expression.
Now the Rare Cask bottle has also been redesigned in keeping with Macallan’s recent packaging refresh, and comes presented in a mahogany-coloured gift box.
Nick Savage, Macallan master distiller, said: ‘This whisky truly exhibits the art of cask selection and the role of our whisky making team to hand pick the casks for each batch.
‘The casks give the greatest contribution to the character and are the only source of the rich mahogany colour. It is one of the Macallan’s most complex yet balanced whiskies that we’ve created, with soft notes of rich oak, vanilla and chocolate.
‘With the release of yearly batches, Rare Cask can also be a memorable way to celebrate or mark a special year or occasion.’
Macallan Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 is available for around £230 per bottle.
Macallan’s whisky has become some of the most collectable from Scotland, with the brand named the most investible and most traded at auction in 2017, according to specialists at Rare Whisky 101.
In August this year, the sale of the limited edition Macallan Genesis caused traffic ‘chaos’ as collectors and investors queued outside the distillery in the hope of purchasing one of a reported 360 bottles available.

Versteigerung in Edinburgh
Diese Whisky-Flasche ist angeblich eine Million Euro wert
In Edinburgh soll ein Whisky im Wert von umgerechnet bis zu etwa einer Million Euro (900.000 Pfund) versteigert werden. Das teilte das britische Auktionshaus Bonhams mit. Die Flasche mit dem laut Bonhams "wertvollsten Whisky der Welt" soll am 3. Oktober in neue Hände gelangen und trägt den Namen "Macallan Valerio Adami 1926".
Macallan ist eine Whiskybrennerei im Norden Schottlands. Der zum Verkauf stehende Whisky gehört zu einer limitierten Reihe von nur zwölf Flaschen aus dem Jahr 1986. Er reifte zuvor 60 Jahre lang in Fässern. Die Etiketten wurden von dem italienischen Künstler Valerio Adami (83) entworfen, dessen Werke an Comics erinnern.
Eine dieser Flaschen wurde in diesem Jahr bereits für einen Rekordwert von rund 815.000 Pfund (etwa 910.000 Euro) in Hongkong versteigert. Wie viele von den zwölf Flaschen noch existieren, ist unklar.
Bonhams wurde 1793 in London gegründet und gehört eigenen Angaben zufolge zu den größten Auktionshäusern weltweit. Bekannt ist Bonhams vor allem durch seine Versteigerungen von Wein, Kunst, Autos und Schmuck.

Whisky-Flasche für fast eine Million Euro verkauft
Ganz schön begehrt ist dieser Whisky. Er ist ja auch der teuerste der Welt.
Bildbeschreibung einblenden
Guten Whisky kann man sich etwas kosten lassen. Ein Käufer aus Fernost hat jetzt bei einer Auktion so tief in die Tasche gegriffen wie niemand vor ihm. Dafür bekommt er einen steinalten Whisky.
Der teuerste Whisky der Welt wechselte am Mittwoch für 947.000 Euro den Eigentümer. Bei einer Auktion im schottischen Edinburgh wurde die 60 Jahre alte Flasche Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 für den Rekordpreis von 848.750 Pfund verkauft. Eine Flasche aus dem selben Fass war im Mai in Hongkong für rund 814.000 Pfund verkauft worden.
Den Zuschlag bei der Auktion in Edinburgh erhielt ein Käufer aus dem Fernen Osten. Dort gebe es ein „riesiges Interesse an Whisky“, sagte Richard Harvey vom Auktionshaus Bonhams. „Überall im Fernen Osten werden Whisky-Bars eröffnet.“ Ein Drittel bis 40 Prozent aller Verkäufe des Auktionshauses gingen in diese Region.
Die am Mittwoch erzielten 848.750 Pfund bedeutet einen Weltrekord für eine Flasche schottischen Whisky bei einer öffentlichen Auktion. „Es ist eine große Ehre, einen neuen Weltrekord aufgestellt zu haben, vor allem hier in Schottland, der Heimat des Whiskys“, sagte Bonhams-Whisky-Experte Martin Green.

October 2018
Macallan is using an online ballot to sell its latest limited edition single malt whisky, Macallan Easter Elchies Black.
Limited availability: Only 1,958 bottles of Macallan Easter Elchies Black are being released
The release, which pays tribute to the Speyside distillery’s ‘spiritual home’, is limited to only 1,958 bottles worldwide, a small number of which will be available in travel retail.
But most of the bottles of the 49.2% abv, £750 whisky will be sold by ballot from Macallan’s online shop – a few weeks after the last limited release from the distillery, Macallan Genesis, caused traffic chaos on surrounding roads.
The ballot, which is open now, closes at 23:59 GMT next Tuesday (9 October).
Macallan Easter Elchies Black is described as having ‘aromas of fresh green apples, toffee, lemon and orange citrus, [and a] soft, sweet, peat smoke finish’.
Situated at the heart of the Macallan estate, Easter Elchies House was built in 1700 from locally-quarried sandstone, with crow-stepped gables and a turret

October 2018
A one-of-a-kind bottle of 60-year-old Macallan single malt could become the world’s first £1m whisky when it is auctioned by Christie’s in London next month.
Macallan 1926 60-year-old Michael Dillon
Millionaire malt?: Irish artist Michael Dillon hand-painted this bottle of 60-year-old Macallan
The bottle of Macallan 1926 60-year-old features a depiction of the distillery’s spiritual home, Easter Elchies House, hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon and first offered for sale by Fortnum & Mason in London in 1999.
Christie’s pre-sale estimate places the value of the bottle ‘in the region of £1m (US$1.3m)’.
‘The Macallan were unsure that this bottle still existed – it was last seen at Fortnum & Mason in London in 1999 – and it is quite excited that the buyer has kept hold of it,’ said Tim Triptree MW, Christie’s international director of wine.
‘Whatever the eventuality, it’s probably going to fetch a new record. This whisky is basically the finest and most collectable single malt produced in the 20th century.’
Unique malt: The 60-year-old malt, designed by artist Michael Dillon, is said to be ‘one of a kind’
The bottle is drawn from the same cask – number 263, filled in 1926 – that yielded the two sets of 12 bottles with labels designed by famed pop artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami.
These bottles have been setting world records throughout 2018, first with the sale of a pair by Dubai Airport retailer Le Clos in April, and then with the Bonhams auctions of two more bottles in Hong Kong in May.
The most recent record-breaker emerged only yesterday (3 October), when Bonhams auctioned an Adami bottle for £848,750 (US$1.1m) in Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, Sotheby’s is poised to auction another Sir Peter Blake Macallan in New York next week, with the single bottle expected to fetch US$700,000-1.2m.
The Michael Dillon Macallan bottle will be auctioned by Christie’s in London on 28-29 November this year, part of the largest offering of spirits yet offered by the auction house in London.
The sale also includes a bottle of Macallan Lalique 50-Year-Old (estimate: £60,000-80,000), one of only 470 bottles released in 2005 and the first filled into a specially created Lalique bottle.
There is also a Yamazaki 50-Year-Old 1st Edition (est: £150,000-200,000), one of only 50 bottles released in 2005; a 1919 vintage Springbank (est: £100,000-150,000), one of only 24 bottles filled at the Campbeltown distillery in 1970 and released in 1989; and a 1902 Highland Park Reserve (est: £4,000-5,000) bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd in the 1950s

September 2018
Macallan is to start releasing its Rare Cask expression in limited batches, in a move it believes adds to the brand’s ‘element of collectability’.
Macallan Rare Cask Batch No.1 2018
Collectors’ item: Four batches of Macallan Rare Cask will be released each year
The no-age-statement single malt, which is fully matured in first-fill Sherry casks, will now feature batch numbers and the year of release prominently on every bottle.
Macallan Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 is being launched globally this month, and will be the first of three batches released this year. However four batches will be released in each subsequent year.
While the number of bottles will vary from batch to batch, each will be a vatting of 50 Sherry butts bottled at 43% abv.
Macallan Rare Cask was first introduced as an extension to the distillery’s range in 2014, as a vatting of 16 different casks it claimed at the time was the most ever used for a single Macallan expression.
Now the Rare Cask bottle has also been redesigned in keeping with Macallan’s recent packaging refresh, and comes presented in a mahogany-coloured gift box.
Nick Savage, Macallan master distiller, said: ‘This whisky truly exhibits the art of cask selection and the role of our whisky making team to hand pick the casks for each batch.
‘The casks give the greatest contribution to the character and are the only source of the rich mahogany colour. It is one of the Macallan’s most complex yet balanced whiskies that we’ve created, with soft notes of rich oak, vanilla and chocolate.
‘With the release of yearly batches, Rare Cask can also be a memorable way to celebrate or mark a special year or occasion.’
Macallan Rare Cask Batch No. 1, 2018 is available for around £230 per bottle.
Macallan’s whisky has become some of the most collectable from Scotland, with the brand named the most investible and most traded at auction in 2017, according to specialists at Rare Whisky 101.
In August this year, the sale of the limited edition Macallan Genesis caused traffic ‘chaos’ as collectors and investors queued outside the distillery in the hope of purchasing one of a reported 360 bottles available

October 2018
Macallan is ‘daring to disrupt the whisky making process’ with a new travel retail-exclusive series of single malts.
Macallan Concept No. 1
Disruptive dram: Macallan Concept No. 1 is designed to explore maturation ‘more imaginatively’
The new Macallan Concept range is designed to celebrate the world’s visionaries and challenge convention, with the first release, Concept No. 1, inspired by surrealism.
Concept No. 1 is a no-age-statement malt created using ‘innovative production techniques’ – instead of first being matured in ex-Bourbon casks, it has been given a Sherry cask maturation first before being aged further in ex-Bourbon for an equal amount of time.
A spokesperson for Macallan said the process ‘represents a play on the more traditional approach, in which whisky is matured in former Bourbon barrels before being finished for a short period of time in Sherry-seasoned casks’.
Nick Savage, master distiller for Macallan, said: ‘The innovative process developed to produce this remarkable single malt pays tribute to the visionaries of the surreal art world, and reflects our continuous search for excellence.’
Said to contain notes of ‘butterscotch toffee’ with soft oak spices, fresh fruit and ginger’, Concept No. 1 is bottled at 40% abv.
The bottle’s label and outer packaging features a surrealist interpretation of Macallan’s Six Pillars, the six key elements that comprise the Macallan spirit, as part of the bottling’s homage to the art world.
The Six Pillars are listed as the distillery’s spiritual home on the Macallan Estate, its small stills, the spirit cut from the stills, its ‘exceptional’ oak casks, its natural colour and ‘peerless’ finished spirit.
The whisky will launch in Dubai airports in December, and other markets worldwide from January 2019, priced at US$125 for a 700ml bottle.
Further releases in the Concept range are expected in 2019.
The series joins Macallan’s other travel retail exclusive whiskies, including the four-expression Quest Collection, unveiled in October last year.

October 2018
The latest bottle of rare 60-year-old Macallan to come up at auction missed the world record by some distance on Saturday (13 October), selling in New York for US$843,200.
Macallan 1926 Sir Peter Blake
Falling short: This bottle of 1926 Macallan was sold for ‘only’ US$843,200 at auction
The 1926 Macallan, one of 12 with labels designed by British pop artist Sir Peter Blake, fell short of the world record set at Bonhams in Edinburgh earlier this month, when a bottle of the same whisky – but with a label designed by Italian artist Valerio Adami – was auctioned for £848,750 (US$1.1m).
The latest Blake bottle, number nine of 12 bottled by Macallan in 1986, had been expected to fetch US$700,000-1.2m by Sotheby’s – the highest pre-sale estimate placed on a bottle of wine or whisky by the auction house.
In all, 12 bottles each of the Blake- and Adami-designed bottles of 1926 Macallan were released, all drawn from cask #263, with a number coming up for auction and sale this year.
A pair of Blake and Adami bottles was sold by Dubai Airport retailer Le Clos for US$1.2m in April, then another pair fetched the equivalent of more than US$1m each at a Bonhams auction in Hong Kong in May (all sums include buyer’s premium).
But all could be trumped by another bottle of 60-year-old Macallan from the same cask: this time with a hand-painted bottle by Irish artist Michael Dillon, and expected to fetch ‘in the region of £1m’ (US$1.3m) when it is auctioned by Christie’s in London next month.
The anonymous seller of the Macallan sold by Sotheby’s in New York, a keen collector of the Speyside single malt, described to the auction house how he acquired it direct from the distillery following its release in 1986.
‘The notion that I could acquire a Scotch bottled during the roaring ’20s elicited a Gatsby-esque desire in me,’ he said. ‘It seemed both a distant and yet a distinct possibility that this bottle could belong to me.’
He added: ‘This bottle has been a little bit magical for me. It’s difficult to articulate exactly why. That it is rare and coveted is only a small part of it… It is my hope that whoever purchases this bottle will appreciate that it is not simply a rare and exquisite spirit. That he or she understands that it is more than just an investment. It is representative of the finer things in life. It represents the life’s work of many people.

November 2018
A ‘unique’ bottle of 60-year-old Macallan, hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon, has today (29 November) become the world’s first million-pound whisky sold at auction.

Macallan 1926 Michael Dillon
Record-breaker: The Michael Dillon Macallan was sold by Fortnum & Mason in 1999
The single bottle of Macallan 1926, bottled at 60 years old, was auctioned by Christie’s in London for a total of £1.2m (US$1,528,800/€1,352,400), including buyer’s premium, smashing the previous record of £848,750, set by another bottle of 60-year-old Macallan in October this year.

The bottle, which features a depiction of Easter Elchies House, Macallan’s spiritual home, was first offered for sale by Fortnum & Mason in 1999, but even the distillery itself was unaware of its continued existence until it was offered at auction.

The bottle was drawn from the same cask – number 263, filled in 1926 – that yielded two sets of 12 bottles with labels designed by pop artists Sir Peter Blake and Valerio Adami.

It was an Adami bottle that held the previous world record, set in October during a Bonhams auction in Edinburgh, and a number of Blake and Adami bottles have been sold this year, regularly fetching record prices.

‘The sale represents a landmark moment in the whisky market,’ said Tim Triptree MW, Christie’s international director of wine. ‘The results confirm the strength of the market for whisky.’

Today’s Christie’s auction featured the largest sale of rare spirits yet staged by the auction house, also including a bottle of Macallan Lalique 50 Year Old, which doubled its pre-sale estimate to sell for £144,000.

Meanwhile, a bottle of 1919 Springbank fetched £132,000 (pre-sale estimate £100,000-150,000), but a bottle of Yamazaki 50-Year-Old First Edition fell short of expectations, selling for £144,000 (estimate £150,000-200,000), some way below its own record of £212,358, set in Hong Kong earlier this year.

Five bottles of Macallan Genesis, a £495 limited edition whisky which sparked traffic chaos outside the new Macallan distillery when it was released in August, fetched £2,280 each at today’s auction, with the proceeds going to selected Speyside community organisations

December 2018
Macallan has introduced a 52-year-old single cask single malt laid down on 13 November 1965, with a limited number of bottles available for £38,500 each.

The Macallan 52 Year Old 1965
Single cask: The Macallan 52 Year Old was matured in a first-fill ex-Sherry cask
Matured for 52 years in a first-fill European oak ex-Sherry cask and bottled at 48% abv, the whisky is said to contain notes of ‘rich fruit and dark chocolate fondant’ with ‘hints of peat smoke… cinnamon and ginger’.

It was produced in the same year the Speyside distillery doubled its distillation capacity with the introduction of six new stills.

Each bottle is hand-signed by Macallan whisky maker Sarah Burgess, and presented in a solid oak box with an etched face inlaid with a matte gold age statement.

Burgess said: ‘After being left to mature for 52 long years in one exceptional, hand crafted European oak Sherry seasoned cask, this wonderfully rare single malt is full of rich spicy flavours and has a beautiful ruby mahogany natural colour.

‘The Macallan 52 years old is an outstanding addition to our expanding range of unique, classic-aged whiskies and is a testament to the harmony created through the mastery of wood and spirit.’

Just 250 bottles of the expression are available from selected specialist retailers globally, for £38,500/US$50,000.

17 January 2019
Tributes have been paid to Hugh Mitcalfe, the ‘marketing genius’ behind the rise of single malts Glen Grant and Macallan, who has died at the age of 84.

Hugh Mitcalfe former marketing director of Macallan and Glen Grant
Marketing brain: Hugh Mitcalfe’s skills helped spur Glen Grant and Macallan on to great success
Mitcalfe, who died ‘peacefully’ on 2 January, spent nearly 20 years at Glen Grant – a time of huge success for the Rothes single malt, especially in Italy – before moving to Macallan and helping to transform it from a little-known Speyside distillery into perhaps the world’s most recognised malt whisky.

‘He left an indelible mark on Glen Grant,’ said Dennis Malcolm OBE, Glen Grant master distiller. ‘Through his endeavours, Glen Grant really made it in Italy… We were selling nearly half a million cases there in the 1970s.’

‘Hugh Mitcalfe was the marketing brain behind The Macallan,’ added Willie Phillips, Macallan MD from 1978 to 1996. ‘I keep saying to people, when they say “you built The Macallan”; no, my team built The Macallan, and Hugh was an important part of that team.’

In the 1980s, Mitcalfe developed Macallan’s ‘Anniversary’ expressions, starting with a 25-year-old, and moving on to a 50-year-old and a 60-year-old, a bottle of which recently sold for more than £1m at auction.

‘Hugh was intimately involved in every stage of The Macallan’s transition from being a top-class malt for the blenders into a powerful brand in its own right, thereby laying the foundations for the global fame to come,’ said David Cox, previously a director of The Macallan Distillers Ltd, now retired.

Whisky writer Charlie MacLean added that Mitcalfe’s contribution to the history of Scotch malt whisky ‘must not be underestimated’ – particularly his work in Italy with Glen Grant, and then with Macallan.

Hugh Mitcalfe, Douglas Mackessack and Italian visitors at Inverness Aerodrome

Italian visitors: Mitcalfe (centre left, dark glasses) with Douglas Mackessack (kilt) and representatives of Glen Grant’s Italian importers at Inverness Aerodrome in 1961

HUGH MITCALFE (1934-2019)
Hugh Mitcalfe joined Glen Grant in 1959 as export and marketing director; he was the son-in-law of distillery owner Major Douglas Mackessack, having married his daughter Kirsteen.

‘What I did like about him was that he came as the boss’s son-in-law, but he ended up spending the better part of a year at the plant, learning from the bottom up,’ recalls Malcolm.

‘He came to the maltings at Caperdonich. He came to the cooperage when I was working there, learning how to build a cask. He wanted to know everything.’

Mitcalfe oversaw Glen Grant’s conquest of the Italian market, where it was distributed by the Giovinetti family. ‘Armando Giovinetti came over and bought a few cases, and stuck them in the boot of his car, but Hugh spent a lot of time in Italy,’ says Malcolm.

‘We always knew if Hugh had had a good trip or a bad trip. He made a point when he came in in the morning of walking straight through the tun room and the mash house… If it was a very good trip, he’d stand and chat to you; if it wasn’t so good, he’d walk straight on through.’

Malcolm adds: ‘You knew exactly where you stood with him – he was very transparent and didn’t bend back and forth. The more he sold, the more we had to produce; we worked longer hours and the men made more money, so he was basically our hero.’

Hugh Mitcalfe, Douglas Mackessack, Armando Giovinetti

Glen Grant days: Hugh Mitcalfe (far right) with Douglas Mackessack (far left), their respective wives and Armando Giovinetti

Mitcalfe left Glen Grant when it was sold to Canadian group Seagram in 1978, moving a few miles south to become the first marketing director at Macallan.

Macallan was then a blender’s malt with a good reputation on Speyside, but little renown beyond its borders. Brothers Allan and Peter Shiach set out to change that, laying down stocks and, as they reached maturity, assembling a small team under Phillips and Mitcalfe to build Macallan’s reputation.

‘Hugh arrived, and I remember that he found us so backward,’ recalls Phillips. ‘We had no telex, for example, and he went on and on and on about this until we got one. But the only place we had for it was in the ante-room of the gents toilet, so the girls from the office had to go in there to send Hugh’s telexes for him.’

He continues: ‘When he came, Hugh realised that Macallan knew nothing – less than nothing – about marketing. He knew we had a good product that was pretty well-known in Speyside, and we did a little marketing of the new spirit to the blenders, but actual marketing of Macallan in bottle there was none – and, to be honest, we didn’t know how to do it.’

For Mitcalfe, one of the attractions of Macallan was its inventory. ‘He’d been told on Speyside that Macallan had absolutely wonderful stocks of mature whisky,’ says Phillips. ‘When he came, about 10 days in he said to me: “I’ve heard a rumour that you’ve got some good stocks, Willie. Could I see them, please?” So I gave him a list and he came into my room and said: “Wow.”’

Cox echos this, quoting Mitcalfe’s first marketing report, dated March 1979:

‘We have excellent stocks of very old whiskies available. I do not believe that any of our competitors can match us in this respect and, properly used, this can give us considerable Public Relation advantage.’

Macallan 1980s advertising

Tall tales: Macallan’s 1980s advertising was witty and well-targeted at its audience

Having the liquid was one thing; knowing how to sell it another. ‘Hugh was a marketing genius in his own way, because he never, ever exploited those stocks, he used them for Macallan publicity,’ says Phillips.

‘He came out with a 25-year-old, not to try and get some rich person to make a huge investment; instead, he called it the Anniversary Malt, because he thought that people with a 25-year anniversary might want to buy a bottle.’

Advertising was a vital part of the mix. David Holmes (who died last September) and Nick Salaman of London agency Holmes Knight Ritchie were brought in, placing quirky little ads next to The Times crossword and coming up with a succession of homespun, witty Macallan ‘story’ adverts illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by illustrator Anna Midda.

‘Allan Shiach gets the credit as the creative ideas man behind these adverts, but a lot of them came from Hugh Mitcalfe,’ says Phillips. ‘He encouraged everyone at the distillery to to think about stories that might work for the adverts.’

Mitcalfe was also the face of The Advocates of the Macallan, communicating with the single malt’s growing fanbase via the pages of the Easter Elchies Digest. ‘He wrote every three months to people, to all the names who joined this [programme], and his letters were just absolutely terrific,’ says Phillips.

There were, however, creative tensions at times. ‘He and I had a lot of tussles,’ Phillips admits. ‘But behind the tussles was a man with a heart for the product, and of course he was talking to me, whose heart was always totally with the product. We had our little battles, but we became a real team.’

Macallan 1980s advertising

Creative force: Macallan’s marketing helped to transform the single malt’s fortunes

Mitcalfe’s involvement with Macallan ended – as it had done in the case of Glen Grant – in disappointment and a takeover, this time by Highland Distillers in 1996. ‘He was really upset,’ recalls Phillips. ‘He thought that Allan Shiach had sold us out, but the takeover came as a shock to Allan too… He and I were very quickly told we weren’t going to stay.’

Phillips and Mitcalfe, who sometimes travelled together in the US to promote Macallan, were in some ways an odd couple. ‘Hugh was not an aristocrat – that’s not the right word – but he was of that ilk,’ says Phillips. ‘He was public school, whereas I was not – and it showed. I was more of a people man than he was; but he was a gentleman.

‘Hugh was better than I was intellectually – my superior, I think; and, from a marketing point of view, very clearly my superior, and so I had to respect what he wanted to do.

‘Despite our tussles, I always had a high regard for Hugh Mitcalfe. In my life, I count him as one of my real friends, even though we hardly spoke after we left the company.’

Cox adds of Mitcalfe: ‘Of patrician demeanour, together with Allan Shiach and Willie Phillips, he helped develop a personality for The Macallan that is with us to this day.

‘Like them, he didn’t just work for The Macallan; he lived it.’
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