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The Macallan – Profile of a Scotch Whisky Icon

The Macallan - The Style, The Substance & The Legendary Bottlings

The Macallan is synonymous not just with whisky, but with prestige and luxury across the globe.


Macallan is a distillery located in Moray, Speyside, that has produced some of the finest and most expensive bottlings of all-time. It leads from the front with innovation and collaboration at its heart. But why are the malts of Macallan so sought after?

Stylistically, The Macallan is the coming together of ex-Sherry casks with a heavy, even oily new make spirit. This is the synthesis of the Macallan DNA. The journey to the pinnacle of the most collectible whiskies really in the 1980s when Macallan focused on the single malt category. It is fair to say that, since then, they’ve not looked back.

Arguably, Macallan have been the most innovative when it comes to marketing and product creation, with several iconic releases, including the launch of the hugely collectible Fine & Rare series of vintage releases going way back to 1924. Its collaboration with glassmaker Lalique has seen some of the most stunning bottlings of single malts and includes the oldest and most expensive ever single malt bottlings ever to see the light of day.

As well as a powerhouse of whisky production, Macallan leads the way in whisky tourism, having opened their innovative new distillery and visitor centre in 2018 at a cost of £140m.

Legendary bottlings:

The Macallan, The Reach

The oldest expression released to date. The Reach was released as an 81 year old from a single sherry oak cask distilled in 1940. The mouth-blown glass decanter is cradled by three bronze sculpted hands created by Saskia Robinson. It represents the three eras that have come to pass in the creation of such a special malt. The cabinet that houses the special bottle has been created from a fallen elm tree that is believed to have been on the estate in 1940. Released at £92,000 and with only 288 bottles in existence, prices are only going one way.

The Six Pillars Lalique Series

A stunning collaboration with crystal glassmaker Lalique. This collection features six bottles aged 50, 55, 57, 60, 62 and 65 years of age. The number of each bottling produced varies, but the 470 decanters of the First Edition was the most of any release. The first release hit the market in 2005 with the final, Sixth Edition being released in 2016. When the 65 Year Old Sixth Edition was released, it represented the oldest and rarest malt ever offered by the distillery at the time.

The Macallan 72 Year Old Lalique

Created a stir in 2018 when 6,00o decanters were produced with a starting price of USD 60,000. This bottling took the title as ‘oldest release by Macallan’ when this collaboration with Lalique hit the market. Seated in a stunning presentation box with a decanter that paid homage to the design of the new distillery.

The Macallan Fine & Rare Series

The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection is the largest selection of vintage-dated single malts in the world. Launched in 2002 with 37 different bottlings since, malts have been released from all the way back to 1926. This bottle broke the record for the most valuable bottles of wine or spirit ever sold at auction when it went for USD 1.9m as a part of Sotheby’s Ultimate Whisky Collection in October 2019. The more simple and classic design and packaging of the Fine & Rare Collection belies the level of quality contained within these incredibly collectible bottlings. The collection now comprises of 57 bottlings from between 1926 and 1993.

Macallan’s rarity, price and near-impossibility to buy make it hugely sought after. This is certainly not going to change any time soon

These uber-expensive and super-rare bottlings represent just a tiny amount of the output at Macallan. With production costs increasing heading into 2023, distillery owner Edrington has announced new releases across the board. Now could well be a smart time to make sure Macallan is well represented in your spirits collection. For our latest listings, you can view our full price list here – drop us an email on [email protected]

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