A rare bottle of the world’s oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan – also believed to be the oldest whisky ever launched by a distillery – from the distillery’s “Red Collection”, is being auctioned by online whisky auction platform, Whisky Hammer. Whisky Hammer is the first dedicated online auction house in the world to offer a bottle of the 78-year old whisky, giving its members the unique opportunity to bid on this super rare single malt Scotch whisky.
Whisky Hammer, a family-owned business in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has launched the online auction (https://www.whiskyhammer.com/auction/current) that will run until 7pm (BST) on Sunday 25 October with a starting price of £10,000 for The Macallan 78-year old. The auction features over 3,000 lots, from everyday drams to investment-grade iconic bottles, and represents Whisky Hammer’s largest online auction to-date. New members can join to participate in the auction by following Whisky Hammer’s quick and straightforward registration process at whiskyhammer.com.
Given its age, exclusivity and the level of global demand for The Macallan, the new release is expected to prove popular with whisky lovers and investors around the world.
The Macallan Red Collection launched this week comprises 40, 50, 60, 71, 74 and 78-year olds. The producer describes the new collection as “an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies, shaped by the actions of our founder Alexander Reid and key characters in our history, who have laid the foundations for our single malt today”. It adds: “This collection celebrates the rich range of reds present naturally in every step of our process”.
The 78-year old is described as reflecting “deep respect for time, tradition and craftsmanship”. It is being presented by The Macallan lead whisky maker Sarah Burgess and was laid down decades ago in The Macallan’s “hand-picked oak casks”. Tasting notes describe its colour as “Sunset on the Spey”.
Its oak presentation box is crafted by hand in the UK, using the same sustainable European oak used to make The Macallan casks. The box is upholstered with sustainably sourced, soft Scottish leather from Bridge of Weir Leather.
Whisky Hammer hosts auctions once a month, dedicated to whisky and other fine spirits, allowing buyers and sellers from every corner of the globe to participate at www.whiskyhammer.com. It has auctioned several rare and collectible whiskies – both bottles and casks – since its launch in 2016. The business has recently re-located to a new, purpose built, facility in Aberdeenshire which is also home to a sister business, Still Spirit – a whisky shop and exquisite tasting room.
Daniel Milne, Managing Director of Whisky Hammer, said: “We’re really excited to be able to offer something as rare as this 78 year old expression from The Macallan Red Collection for auction and we expect a very high level of interest in this lot. The Macallan is one of the most well-known and loved Scotch whisky brands and is regarded globally as the epitome of quality and taste – add to this the thrill of the oldest single malt ever released by Macallan, the end result is a true icon in whisky history.
“As a Scottish family-run business we have seen rapid growth since our inaugural auction in 2016 – today we are one of the largest online dedicated whisky auction platforms globally. We’re delighted to have been able to host such an exclusive whisky which builds on our growing reputation as a place for whisky lovers and investors to buy and sell these iconic whiskies.”
The Macallan has unveiled The Red Collection, an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies which captures The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship.
Inspired by the significance of the colour red throughout the history of the brand, The Red Collection features a carefully curated selection of ongoing aged expressions and high aged guest releases.
At the heart of The Red Collection is The Macallan 40 Years Old, The Macallan 50 Years Old and The Macallan 60 Years Old. These remarkable single malts, which will anchor the range, are the oldest ongoing expressions ever offered by The Macallan and will be available in limited quantities globally.
From time to time they will be joined by special high aged guest releases, commencing with The Macallan 71 Years Old, The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old. These incredibly rare single malts are among the world’s oldest Scotch whiskies, with The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old being the oldest bottlings ever released in the history of the brand.
Together they showcase the pursuit of uncompromised excellence for which The Macallan is renowned and reveal the legacy of craftsmanship, innovation and knowledge that sustains The Macallan to this day.
An extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s after being gifted by The Macallan to raise funds for food charity, City Harvest, which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across London. The Sotheby’s auction runs from 22 October to 31 October 2020.
Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s signature curiously small copper stills, each peerless expression in The Red Collection has been matured in The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks under the watchful eye of several generations of whisky makers. Over time, these astonishing single malt whiskies have slowly been shaped and influenced by the carefully selected casks to deliver extraordinarily elegant aged whiskies.
The colour red has deep and long-standing significance for The Macallan. The red thread begins with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824. His surname means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair.
In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range. It was reportedly shipped in cases labelled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from The Macallan’s existing whiskies, which featured black labelling.
And almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950. Allan Shiach, chairman of The Macallan at that time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.
The three characters now feature in a remarkable animated film created to introduce The Red Collection in collaboration with celebrated Spanish painter and illustrator Javi Aznarez. The Spanish creator is acclaimed for his striking graphic art which has featured in several Hollywood films, including respected director Wes Anderson’s upcoming feature, The French Dispatch, and was also instrumental in the storyboard development for ‘Greta’ by director Neil Jordan in 2018.
The animation is set to music recorded by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most influential classical artists of today.
Javi Aznarez said: “When a brand like The Macallan, which has been making whisky for nearly 200 years, asks you to draw red for them, to explain what red means to them, it’s quite a challenge. Alexander Reid – The Red, Allan Shiach, and Roderick Kemp are some of the people that have led The Macallan to excellence.
“What I like about The Macallan is that the colour of their whisky is natural. It’s the cask that, little by little, over time, paints this whisky.
“I think that The Macallan and I value time very much. I need plenty of time to do my drawings and they need years to achieve the excellence of this whisky.”
Each expression in The Red Collection is encased in an exquisite oak presentation box created from the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks. The boxes are beautifully upholstered with sustainably sourced soft red leather from Scottish supplier Bridge of Weir Leather, which creates upholstery for leading luxury car brands across the globe.
A bespoke handcrafted case that can house the trio of ongoing or guest releases has also been developed by Scottish artisan furniture and objet d’art manufacturer, Method Design Studio. Based in Linlithgow, near Edinburgh, Method utilises traditional craftsmanship and skills to create one-off commissions for some of the world’s top luxury brands.
Each of the ongoing releases in The Red Collection has been hand finished and signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 and is the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand which spans almost 200 years. Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan, has signed the initial guest releases.
Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “Created from some of the world’s oldest and rarest casks it is an incredible privilege to have crafted The Red Collection, the pinnacle of The Macallan’s portfolio.
“It’s thanks to the foresight of previous custodians of The Macallan, who laid down and aged these extraordinary casks, that we have been able to curate such a remarkable selection of whiskies.
“Each precious drop offers a unique opportunity to explore The Macallan’s whisky making legacy. The incredible elegance and rich flavours of the expressions that form The Red Collection are a direct result of the craftsmanship, knowledge and skills nurtured by our master whisky makers, past and present.”
The Macallan Red Collection will be available from Harrods, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and other selected specialist retailers from 15 October 2020.
The Red Collection will have an RRSP as follows:
The Macallan 40 Years Old – £11,300
The Macallan 50 Years Old – £37,500
The Macallan 60 Years Old – £49,000
The Macallan 71 Years Old – £58,500
The Macallan 74 Years Old – £61,500
The Macallan 78 Years Old – £65,500
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
The Macallan, in collaboration with world renowned chefs, the Roca Brothers, have launched two innovative gastronomic experiences at some of London’s top bars and restaurants. Each experience has been created to encapsulate the very essence of the city of London, with consumers being given the chance to try a distinctive gastronomic dish, paired with a new Macallan single cask whisky, only available to purchase by the measure at these chosen locations.
Titled, ‘Distil Your World London’, the experiences were created by Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca, owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, twice named Best Restaurant in the World, and Steven Bremner, Whisky Maker at The Macallan, exploring the city of London, with the purpose of capturing the essence, aroma and flavour of the capital.
The first experience features a scallop dish served in an elegant malt broth, with fennel, roasted hazelnut and artichoke puree, representative of London’s produce from land and sea. The second experience consists of three types of candied nuts; curry candied walnuts, Earl Grey candied macadamia nuts, and mint and ginger cashew nuts, each infused with unique London tasting notes, such as lemongrass, curry spice and Earl Grey.
To complement both gastronomic creations, Steven Bremner and Josep Roca have carefully selected an exclusive single cask at The Macallan Distillery. The remarkable single cask whisky is limited to 465 bottles and only available through the on-trade. The whisky delivers distinctive tasting notes of oak spice, lively ginger and cinnamon, inspired by the unique essence, aroma and experience.
Consumers will be able to experience the iconic consommé dish and single cask whisky pairing exclusively at Rosewood London, in a setting which captures the character and essence of The Macallan Estate in Speyside.
The candied nuts and single cask whisky pairing experience will also be available at Rosewood London, as well as The Macallan Estate and in a selection of other exclusive London bars and restaurants, including The Ritz and The Connaught.
David Sinclair, The Macallan Prestige & Experience Manager, said: “We were determined to offer consumers an exceptional experience which really celebrated the essence of London.
“By partnering with world renowned chefs, the Roca brothers, we’ve been able to create two distinctive gastronomic experiences which celebrate the flavours and aromas of the capital and work perfectly with our specially selected The Macallan single cask whisky.
“Having Rosewood London as the venue to deliver our iconic dish, as well as a selection of other exclusive London bars and restaurants offering our candied nuts and whisky pairing, we believe we’re celebrating all that London has to offer and we hope consumers will enjoy this unforgettable experience.”
Josep Roca, said: “London has a depth: it has a history, and centuries of written cuisine. Thinking up dishes and snacks that remind us of a city is a real challenge. Encapsulating the aromas, the essence, an idea for an appetizer. For a whisky to have that kind of connection with a city is fascinating and all of these challenges arise in the kitchen at El Celler de Can Roca.”
The elegant consommé dish and whisky pairing experience will come with a welcome cocktail and will be available at Rosewood London, from the 19th October. The experience will cost £100.
The three types of candied nut and whisky pairing experience, will also come with a welcome cocktail and will be available at Rosewood London, from the 19th October. The experience will also be available from The Macallan Estate and in a selection of exclusive London bars and restaurants, including The Ritz and The Connaught from November 2020. The experience will cost £90.
Distil Your World London is part of the wider Distil Your World campaign, a ground-breaking new series of single malt whiskies and gastronomic experiences for The Macallan, inspired by some of the world’s greatest cities, beginning with London. It marks the next chapter in the brand’s long-standing relationship with the Roca brothers.
For information on how to book a spot at Rosewood London, visit https://holborndiningroom.com/theterrace/ .
For information on how to book a spot at other bars and restaurants across the city, keep an eye on The Macallan website for details https://www.themacallan.com/en/distil-your-world
Whisky enthusiasts are being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, through a limited edition launch offer, to buy into Scotland’s most northerly mainland Scotch distillery, which today (6 October) unveils its name as ‘8 Doors Distillery’.
8 Doors Distillery is a new Scotch whisky micro-distillery and visitor centre set to open in John O’Groats in 2021, after planning permission was granted in March this year. The £1 million project will establish the first whisky producer in the Caithness village since 1837. It is a dream come true for its founders, local husband and wife team Kerry and Derek Campbell, who have developed a passion for Scotch over many years.
The new Highland Single Malt Whisky will be produced using the purest John O’Groats’ water extracted from a borehole on the distillery site. Its flavour profile will be deeply influenced by the local climate and its situation right beside the sea – hence its strapline ‘Whisky. From the Edge’.
With its limited edition launch offer 8 Doors Distillery is giving whisky lovers the opportunity to help create a new whisky legacy, saying the journey starts with the 874 Founders Club and the 874 Club.
8 Doors Distillery is collaborating with renowned whisky master John Ramsay to create its exclusive launch products. John brings with him over 40 years’ experience in the whisky industry, having being involved in the making of some of Scotland’s most well-known whiskies including The Famous Grouse, The Glenrothes and The Macallan.
Kerry and Derek see their limited edition launch as the first step in an incredible journey to realise their distillery dream. They have named the 874 Club after one of the greatest journeys in the UK – the 874 miles between Land’s End and John O’Groats.
The 874 Founders Club offers the exclusive opportunity to become a member and buy one of a limited number of 50 litre and 250 litre Founders Casks. The 874 Founders Club cask packages will be available for sale exclusively through Whisky Hammer for an initial period of one month until 5 November.
Those who join the 874 Club will receive a collection of three bottles from some of the first casks laid down and can purchase these packages directly from 8 Doors Distillery.
· 874 Founders Club – the top tier of membership, limited to 250 members. Founder members will get their hands on some truly unique casks of Highland Single Malt Whisky. There are 250 cask packages available from £1,600.
· 874 Club – the core membership limited to 1,250 members. 874 Club members will get three 70cl bottles of exceptional Highland Single Malt Whisky. Matured in first-fill, tailor made casks from Spain, the three different expressions are derived from seasoning and oak types chosen by John Ramsay. These bottle packages are £420.
Both packages come with a host of benefits including a members’ card entitling the individual and a friend to free tours for life. Founders Club members will also be permanently recognised with their name on the Founders Display within the distillery.
The inspiration for the 8 Doors Distillery branding comes from the story of Jan de Groot, from whom the village of John O’Groats takes its name. Mr de Groot, a Dutchman who once plied a ferry from the Scottish mainland to Orkney, built his legendary house in the area during the reign of James IV (1488-1513). Mr de Groot’s seven descendants quarrelled about succession, so he decided to build an octagonal house with eight doors – one for him and each of his seven sons – and an eight-sided table so that nobody could sit at the ‘head of the table’.
The distillery on the 32,670 square feet site will have the capacity to produce up to 60,000 litres of whisky each year. The distillery and visitor centre will be housed in one large building and whisky will be matured in an on-site bonded warehouse.
The founders are also taking advice from Ian Evans of whisky consultancy Distilled Experience who is a former Operations and Compliance Director with William Grant & Sons.
Kerry Campbell, co-founder of 8 Doors Distillery, said: “The creation of our 8 Doors Distillery in John O’Groats and our limited edition launch is part of a dream come true for Derek and me. We have a long-held passion for whisky and for the local area in Caithness where we both grew up. We’re so pleased to be able to bring them together with the development of our distillery and visitor centre.
“We love whisky, and for us it’s more than just having an exceptional liquid in the glass. It’s the stories that go alongside it, the memories of special occasions and get-togethers with family and friends. If we can be part of creating not only a fantastic whisky but also great memories for people who drink our whisky that would be amazing.
“We couldn’t think of anywhere better than John O’Groats to make whisky, partly thanks to the climate which we believe is perfect for distilling and maturation, and the great people who live here. Since we’ve announced our plans to the build the distillery we’ve had lots of local support. And we’re delighted to be working with such industry experts as John Ramsay and Ian Evans for our launch products.
“We believe our limited edition offer provides an unmissable opportunity for whisky lovers across the world to join our 874 Club and be part of the creation of a new Scotch legacy. It truly is whisky from the edge.”
“And we’re pleased to be working with another independent Scottish family-run business, Whisky Hammer, as part of our launch campaign. We’ve had direct experience of their premium service and passion for the whisky that passes through their doors so we can’t think of a better partner to launch our founders casks with.”
John Ramsay said: “It has been wonderful to collaborate with Kerry and Derek at 8 Doors Distillery to help them realise their dream of a whisky that reflects the unique environment of John O’Groats. Having worked in the industry for many years, it’s great to be involved in producing the first whisky from Scotland’s most northerly mainland distillery.
“8 Doors Distillery is particularly exciting for me as it’s the first Scotch whisky project I’ve been involved with since I retired in 2009 after 43 years in the industry. When I met Kerry and Derek and found out more about their desire to create a distillery in John O’Groats I wanted to get on board.
“One of the things that really appeals to me is their commitment to producing a whisky that involves maturation as much as distillation. They realise the importance of high-quality casks.
“We are developing a flavour profile that brings to life the local climate and the influence of the sea. Once the spirit has been matured on-site in carefully selected first-fill casks from Spain designed to our specifications, I believe we will be bringing something original to the world of whisky from this remote part of Caithness.
Daniel Milne, co-founder of Whisky Hammer, said: “We’re excited to team up with Kerry and Derek at 8 Doors Distillery, and expect demand to be high for their exclusive 874 Founders Club cask packages. It’s great to see people with such a passion for Scotch bringing something new to the world of whisky. We would urge anyone interested in being part of this legacy to visit our site as soon as they can.”
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is investing up to £198,000 in the new venture. Keith Muir, the agency’s head of business growth in Caithness and Sutherland, said: “This is a fantastic development, and it is great to see a project coming forward even in these difficult times that will be of real benefit to the tourism sector and to the local community.
“We are delighted to be able to help this local young couple fulfil their dreams of creating a new distillery in John O’ Groats. We look forward to the launch of 8 Doors Whisky and wish Kerry and Derek every success.”
Anyone interested in buying exclusive 8 Doors Distillery casks (available from midday on 6 October) or bottles (available from morning of 6 October) to create a new Scotch legacy should visit:
The Macallan has been awarded the prestigious Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury for its commitment to sustainability across key areas of the business including innovation, environmental performance, and community development.
The Butterfly Mark is a third-party certification earned by brands that have adopted sustainability as a business strategy. It promotes transparency and enables people to buy better. More than 130 iconic brands worldwide have achieved the mark.
To earn the certification, luxury brands undergo a rigorous assessment to ensure they are meeting the highest standards of innovation within sustainability. The assessment is designed to holistically evaluate a brand’s commitment to sustainability across the following areas: governance, social impact, innovation, community investment, and environmental performance.
The Macallan’s in-depth review covered all areas of the business, including how it protects The Macallan Estate, its supply chain, and its contribution to local communities.
Igor Boyadjian, managing director of The Macallan, said: “We are proud to confirm that we have been awarded the coveted Butterfly Mark from Positive Luxury.
“Sustainability is a guiding principle for The Macallan across all aspects of the business, from the way we look after our pristine 485-acre Estate, to the way we treat our people and communities. As a brand proud of our strong Scottish roots and distinguished history, we feel a deep responsibility to act with integrity to preserve our craftmanship and mastery for future generations.
“We look forward to continuing our sustainability journey in partnership with Positive Luxury and doing all that we can to encourage a more positive and progressive world.”
Brands that achieve the Butterfly Mark are assigned a bespoke set of ‘positive actions’, displayed in the form of simple symbols that illustrate the unique environmental and ethical business practices each has pursued.
The Macallan’s positive actions highlight its sustainable packaging, biodiversity protection, marine conservation and measures to promote energy efficiency. They also demonstrate The Macallan’s support for charitable causes and community development, and its dedication to fair pay and working conditions.
As a recipient of the Butterfly Mark, The Macallan will be able to display the certification on its packaging and on The Macallan website.
Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, added: “We are extremely pleased to welcome The Macallan to the Positive Luxury community.
“The Macallan does fantastic work honouring the skills of artisans and craftspeople, creating sustainable packaging and implementing an environmental protection programme that supports biodiversity on their Estate.”
The Butterfly Mark originates from the success story of the Large British Blue Butterfly. This species was extinct in Britain in 1979 yet was brought back to the natural world due to the dedication of multiple organisations and individuals.
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