The Macallan distillery

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The Macallan
Macallan part of the production hall.jpg
The distillery production hall
LocationEaster Elchies, Craigellachie, Moray, Scotland
Coordinates57°29′3.74″N 3°12′27.28″W / 57.4843722°N 3.2075778°W / 57.4843722; -3.2075778Coordinates: 57°29′3.74″N 3°12′27.28″W / 57.4843722°N 3.2075778°W / 57.4843722; -3.2075778
OwnerEdrington (spirits company)
Founded1824; 198 years ago (1824)
FounderAlexander Reid
ArchitectRogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (2018)
StatusOperational
No. of stills
  • 12 wash stills
  • 24 spirit stills
Websitewww.themacallan.com
The Macallan
TypeSingle malt
Age(s)12 to 78-year-old
Cask type(s)Sherry (both American & European oak) and Bourbon (American oak)
Map
The Macallan is located in Moray
The Macallan
The Macallan

The Macallan distillery is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery in Craigellachie, Moray, Scotland. The Macallan Distillers Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Edrington, which purchased the brand from Highland Distillers in 1999.[1][2]

The Macallan is generally considered to be the second or third highest-selling single-malt scotch, next to Glenfiddich and, by some accounts, Glenlivet.[3][4]

Originally, The Macallan was matured only in oak sherry casks brought to the distillery from Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Beginning in 2004, The Macallan introduced a new main product, the Fine Oak series, with the whisky mellowed in bourbon oak casks as well as sherry ones.[5] In 2018, the Fine Oak series was renamed as the Triple Cask Matured range.

Bottlings[edit]

The distillery produces a number of expressions in its core Sherry Oak series, the most generally available being the 12-year-old, although the 18-year-old is widely distributed, alongside a 10-year-old cask strength expression at 58% ABV; expensive 25, 30 and 40-year-old versions can also be found.

In 2004, The Macallan started to offer single malt expressions vatted with whisky matured in used casks other than ex-sherry casks as part of the Fine Oak range. Macallan also markets special scotches in duty-free shops at airports such as the 1824 Collection and the Quest Collection.

Many rare, special releases and other small production run bottlings also exist.

Publicity and marketing[edit]

The old Macallan distillery

In 2001, Michael Martin selected The Macallan 10 Years Old as the official Scotch of the Speaker of the House of Commons, even though Martin himself had given up drinking alcohol. He did smell whiskies to make his selection. This selection continued the tradition of the Speaker designating an official single malt.[6] In 2003, The Macallan started laboratory tests to determine if some antique whiskies purchased for their collection were forgeries, perhaps generated by a dealer with mafia ties.[2] In 2004, it was revealed that laboratory testing had determined at least 11 bottles in its antique whisky collection were fakes.[7] Although The Macallan had tested the paper of the labels and were satisfied the whiskies were genuine, additional tests on the contents of some bottles revealed whisky believed to be only 10 years old. David Cox, director of fine and rare whiskies for The Macallan, said, "As a result of these tests from now on, no antique bottles from the antique collection held at the distillery will be made available for sale."[citation needed]

In 2007, a bottle of 1926 The Macallan was sold at a Christie's auction for $54,000, making it one of the most expensive bottles of whisky sold.[8] In 2010, a bottle of The Macallan 64-year-old single malt whisky in a one-of-a-kind "Lalique: Cire Perdue" crystal decanter was sold for $460,000 at an auction at Sotheby's in New York City. All proceeds from the sale were donated to charity: water, an organization that helps provide access to clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations.[9] In 2012, The Macallan received the Guinness World Record for the most expensive whisky sold at auction.[citation needed] In 2014, a decanter of Macallan's 'M' whisky sold at auction in Hong Kong for a record-breaking $628,205.[10] In 2018, The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 60-year-old sold for £848,000 at auction in Edinburgh, the world's most expensive bottle of whisky.[11]

New distillery and visitor experience[edit]

In July 2019, the £140 million new distillery and visitor experience, on the Easter Elchies estate near Craigellachie, made the shortlist for the Stirling Prize for excellence in architecture. It was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.[12] In 2019 the distillery won the 2019 RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award,[13] and was nominated for the Stirling Prize.[12]

The distillery has 36 stills, comprising 12 wash stills and 24 spirit stills.[14]

Archaeology[edit]

Aerial view of the snow covered new distillery and visitor centre

In advance of the creation of the new distillery and visitor experience, archaeological excavations were undertaken by AOC Archaeology in 2014. The archaeologists found that people had been working in the area in the Middle Bronze Age (radiocarbon dates of 1681–1503 cal BC); had built a small settlement in the Late Bronze Age (radiocarbon dates of between 1050 and 800 BC); then a single ring-ditch roundhouse in the Middle Iron Age (radiocarbon dates of 171 BC - AD 51); another small settlement between the ninth to twelfth centuries AD with two post-ring roundhouses; and a 19th century quarry. There was also some evidence (two stone tools) of people being in the area during the Mesolithic period. All of which indicates that people have been living and working on the site of the distillery for thousands of years.[15]

Whiskies[edit]

Retrieved from the Macallan official website.[16]

Core range[edit]

  • Sherry Oak
    • 12 years old (40-43% ABV)
    • 18 years old (43% ABV)
    • 25 years old (43% ABV)
    • 30 years old (43% ABV)
    • 40 years old (44-45% ABV)
  • Double Cask
    • Gold (40% ABV)
    • 12 years old (43% ABV)
    • 15 years old (43% ABV)
    • 18 years old (43% ABV)
  • Triple Cask Matured
    • 12 years old (40-43% ABV)
    • 15 years old (43% ABV)
    • 18 years old (43% ABV)
  • Rare Cask (43% ABV)
  • Estate (43% ABV)
  • The Master Decanter Series (Bottled in Lalique crystal decanters)
    • Reflexion (43% ABV)
    • No. 6 (43% ABV)
    • M (45% ABV)
    • M Black (46.5% ABV)

Travel retail exclusives[edit]

  • The Quest Collection
    • Quest (40% ABV)
    • Lumina (41.3% ABV)
    • Terra (43.8% ABV)
    • Enigma (44.9% ABV)
  • The Concept Series
    • Concept Number 1 (40% ABV)
    • Concept Number 2 (40% ABV)
  • The Boutique Collection (52% ABV)
  • Rare Cask Black (48% ABV)
  • Oscuro (46.5% ABV) (Bottled in Lalique crystal decanter)
  • The Golden Age of Travel Series (Bottled in Lalique crystal decanters)
    • The Ocean Liner (34 years old; 41.1% ABV)
    • The Aeroplane (35 years old; 43.4% ABV)
    • The Steam Train (36 years old; 43.4% ABV)
    • The Motor Car (37 years old; 42.8% ABV)
    • The Airship (35 years old; 44.4% ABV)

Limited releases[edit]

  • The Red Collection
    • 40 years old (48.1% ABV)
    • 50 years old (45.1% ABV)
    • 60 years old (43.4% ABV)
    • 71 years old (41.6% ABV)
    • 74 years old (42.6% ABV)
    • 78 years old (42.2% ABV)
  • Distil Your World: London (57.5% ABV)
  • Masters of Photography
    • 1 - Rankin (30 years old)
    • 2 - Albert Watson (20 years old; 46.5% ABV)
    • 3 - Annie Leibovitz
    • 4 - Elliott Erwitt
    • 5 - Mario Testino
    • 6 - Steven Klein
    • 7 - Magnum (44% ABV)
  • The Macallan 50 years old (44% ABV)
  • The Macallan 52 years old (48% ABV)
  • The Archival Series
    • Folio 1
    • Folio 2
    • Folio 3
    • Folio 4
    • Folio 5
    • Folio 6
  • Classic Cut
    • 2017 Release (58.4% ABV)
    • 2018 Release (51.2% ABV)
    • 2019 Release (52.9% ABV)
    • 2020 Release (55% ABV)
    • 2021 Release (51% ABV)
  • Exceptional Single Cask
    • 2017 Release
    • 2018 Release
    • 2019 Release
  • The Edition Series
    • Edition No. 1 (48.1% ABV)
    • Edition No. 2 (48.2% ABV)
    • Edition No. 3 (48.3% ABV)
    • Edition No. 4 (48.4% ABV)
    • Edition No. 5 (48.5% ABV)
    • Edition No. 6 (48.6% ABV)
  • Gran Reserva 15 years old (43% ABV)
  • The Macallan Genesis Limited Edition (45.5% ABV)
  • Easter Elchies Black
    • 2018 Release (49.2% ABV)
    • 2019 Release (49.7% ABV)
    • 2020 Release (50% ABV)
  • The Six Pillars Collection (Bottled in Lalique crystal decanters)
    • 50 years old (2005 release/470 limited units; 46% ABV): Celebrating the Macallan's Exceptional Oak Casks
    • 55 years old (2007 release/420 limited units; 40.1% ABV): Celebrating the Macallan's Natural Colour
    • 57 years old (2009 release/400 limited units; 48.5% ABV): Celebrating the Macallan's Finest Cut
    • 60 years old (2011 release/400 limited units; 53.2% ABV): Celebrating the Macallan's Curiously Small Stills
    • 62 years old (2014 release/400 limited units; 53.1% ABV): Celebrating the Macallan's Spiritual Home
    • 65 years old (2016 release/450 limited units; 46.3% ABV): Celebrating the Macallan's Peerless Spirit
  • The Macallan 72 years old in Lalique (2018 release/600 limited units; 42% ABV) (Bottled in the Lalique Genesis Crystal Decanter)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Macallan Distillers Ltd. History". Funding Universe.
  2. ^ a b English, Shirley. "Macallan begins testing for fake vintage malt". The Times (UK). 3 November 2003
  3. ^ Bain, Simon. The Herald. 24 October 2009 retrieved from Macallan predicts ‘strong year’ as improved efficiency sends turnover up by £9m on 9 February 2011
  4. ^ Lyons, William. "Macallan has a taste for global domination". The Scotsman. 2009-08-16. retrieved from <http://business.scotsman.com/fooddrinkagriculture/Macallan-has-a-taste-for.5558155.jp> on 9 February 2011.
  5. ^ Macallan Fine Oak (page retrieved 24 May 2006).
  6. ^ Watson, Roland. "Macallan whisky is teetotal Speaker's brand". The Times (UK). 2 March 2001.
  7. ^ "Collector's Market Rocked by Fake Macallan Discovery". Whisky Magazine. 2004-05-17. retrieved from <http://www.whiskymag.com/news/1389.html> on 9 February 2011.
  8. ^ Rosenberg, Rebecca (9 December 2007). "Scotch Whisky". New York Post. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  9. ^ "The Macallan® and Lalique Break Record for Most Expensive Whisky and Crystal Decanter Ever Sold: $460,000 -– All for Charity --".
  10. ^ Lord, Bronte (21 January 2014). "Record-setting whisky sells for $628,205 at Hong Kong auction".
  11. ^ "Whisky sold for world record £848,000". BBC News. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  12. ^ a b "London Bridge station makes 2019 Riba Stirling Prize shortlist". BBC News. 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  13. ^ "RSHP's whisky distillery named Scotland's best new building". Architects' Journal. 7 October 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  14. ^ Sherry, Kristiane (21 May 2018). "See inside the new Macallan distillery!". Master of Malt. Retrieved 1 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Vol 66 (2017): Unenclosed Prehistoric Settlement and Early Medieval Pits at Macallan Distillery, Craigellachie, Highlands | Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports". journals.socantscot.org. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Explore our Single Malts". The Macallan. 18 November 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.

External links[edit]