Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled the brand for its new distillery being built in the Cairngorms National Park.
The distillery is to be named The Cairn, reflecting its stunning location overlooking the Cairngorm mountains, at the gateway to Speyside.
The family owned whisky specialists were granted planning permission for the new distillery last year and work started on site in July this year.
Unveiling the new brand Ian Chapman, Brands Director said: “We have put the consumer right at the heart of the process of creating the brand, as we have with the design of the distillery itself. We wanted to make sure it was clearly Scottish, but easy for consumers to pronounce and to spell. This will be particularly important for our international markets when English is not the first language.
“We also had to be mindful of Benromach, our other distillery. We wanted the new brand to complement, not compete.”
Benromach is positioned as a traditional, hand crafted brand so the new brand had to broadly occupy more contemporary territory.
Working with Glasgow based branding agency Good, the company cast its net wide looking for ideas for a name, asking staff and shareholders for suggestions. More than 300 ideas were eventually whittled down to a shortlist which met select criteria.
As well as the name, the identity needed to have icons and graphical elements to make it unmistakable for non-English speaking consumers. An icon has been developed to symbolise the brand; the fragmented shape representing the coming together of many pieces to form a cairn. The typography used for the words “The Cairn” is ultra-modern and premium, yet it is complemented by the use of a Serif font for the word “Distillery” to represent contemporary craft cues that imply heritage and legacy.
Ian Chapman added; “The brand is eye-catching and contemporary and the approach to develop it put the consumer at the centre of our thinking. It is the same approach we have taken to designing The Cairn Distillery itself. The modern building takes advantage of the outstanding views across the River Spey to the Cairngorms and has been designed with the customer at the centre of the experience.”
Scheduled to open in spring 2022, The Cairn Distillery will include a visitor experience, tasting rooms, retail space and coffee shop.
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 exceptionally rare Bowmore Queens Cask 1980 has previously only appeared a handful of times, exclusively through charity auctions.
9th September 2019 – An exceptionally rare bottling of Bowmore Single Malt whisky has been donated by Beam Suntory to an online charity auction in support of cancer care in Scotland. The Scotch Whisky Industry Charity Auction for Beatson Cancer Charity will feature over 100 rare and prestigious whiskies from Scotland’s finest distilleries with an estimated auction hammer price value of over £110,000. The rare bottle of 1980 Bowmore Queen’s Cask donated by Beam Suntory, is expected to fetch a record sum.
In 1980 a cask of whisky was filled to commemorate Her Majesty the Queen’s visit to Bowmore Distillery on the Isle of Islay. In 2002, Her Majesty requested that the cask was bottled to mark the Golden Jubilee. A select number of bottles were delivered to the cellars at Royal Palaces, with a small amount retained in the Bowmore distillery archive. Beam Suntory, owners of Bowmore distillery, donated the bottling with permission of the royal household. To date only a hand full of bottles have been seen exclusively at charity auctions, making this one of the rarest and most collectable whiskies in the world.
Pryce Greenow, International President at Beam Suntory, stated: “Beam Suntory is honoured to support such an incredible cause and raise awareness of the work of the Beatson Cancer Charity in Scotland. The Queens cask 1980 Jubilee bottling is an exceptional single malt celebrating an iconic moment in Bowmore’s distilling history. Matched by some incredible donations from the wider scotch whisky industry, we’re anticipating a record sum to be raised for this world-leading cancer charity.”
The online auction will run from 13th-23rd September on Whisky Auctioneer.com, which is waiving its seller fee and donating its buyer commission to the charity.
For more information on the auction or to register to participate, please visit
To buy or sell on the Whisky Auctioneer website, an account must be first set up here:
Single malt Scotch whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail has released two stunning new additions to its ‘Private Collection’ range: a 64-Years-Old single malt from Glenlivet Distillery and a landmark 50-Years-Old from Caol Ila Distillery – the oldest Caol Ila single malt ever released.
The newly redesigned ‘Private Collection’ range encompasses rare and exclusive single malt whiskies from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries, all of which have been specially selected for bottling by a member of the Urquhart family that owns Gordon & MacPhail.
Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery was matured in a refill Sherry hogshead and bottled at a cask strength of 52.5% ABV. Warming spice leads on the palate, followed by fruity flavours with a gentle Sherry influence, before a lingering finish of bonfire embers entwined with lemon zest. Available at a UK RRP of £7,500*, only 199 decanters of this extremely rare single malt are available worldwide.
The dark gold Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery carefully balances the sweetness of golden syrup, stewed fruit, and dark chocolate with spicy black peppercorn and mature oak. Matured in Cask 1412, a carefully selected refill Sherry butt, the 64-year-old malt was bottled at a cask strength of 41.0% ABV. Only 222 bottles are available globally, at a UK RRP of £9,950*.
These ultra-rare single malts were selected for bottling by Stuart Urquhart, Gordon & MacPhail’s Associate Director of Whisky Supply and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family. Beautifully presented in hand-blown crystal decanters, each whisky is encased within a handmade wooden veneer box.
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and fourth generation member of the Urquhart family, said: “Our ’Private Collection’ range allows discerning whisky enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy some of the oldest and rarest single malts in the world. These latest releases epitomise the expertise and commitment that has gone into pairing spirit and cask over 123 years and four generations of the Urquhart family. Thanks to the foresight of my forefathers, we have one of the most extensive single malt whisky libraries in the world, with expressions from over 100 Scottish distilleries.”
The latest ‘Private Collection’ releases will be available to purchase from specialist whisky retailers.
For more information on Gordon & MacPhail’s ‘Private Collection’ visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
*Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.
Earlier in August, Whisky-Online concluded their July auction recording some notable hammer prices in the process. With more and more investors and collectors turning to the secondary whisky market to buy and sell, auctions such as Whisky-Online provide the perfect platform for buyers and sellers to interact. Below Whisky-Online share some of the results from their recent July auction.
The last time we sold a Dalmore 50-year-old was in May 2017 when it fetched an impressive £18,600. Fifteen months later, last night, bottle number one finished up at £28,000 on the nose. At one time such a result would have been pretty staggering but it says a lot about the nature of today’s secondary market that these kinds of serious five-figure sums have become almost ubiquitous. Still, this is an impressive result no doubt and shows that whiskies of genuine and deserved legend such as the Dalmore 50 are going nowhere but up. There is in fact almost an argument that it always makes sense to buy them if you can because they will only ever be more expensive. Say this same whisky turns up again in five months time. Would it make sense to buy it for, say, £38,000 – 45,000? I would argue that it would because the year or two after you can most likely sell it for £60,000. It’s just a matter of cash flow really. Which brings us back to the reality that, at this level, whisky is very much a commodity and a rich person’s game.
Once again Macallan displayed impressive strength and consistency at the top level of the sale. £20,000 on the nose for the 1946 Fine & Rare, £4000 for the 1958 Anniversary Malt and – somewhat bewilderingly – £3600 for the Diamond Jubilee. This is the thing about Macallan, you can understand it when the whisky in question is of the stunning, old style sherried variety, it’s somewhat more bizarre when it is, essentially, a contemporary NAS single malt. Such is the power of the name.
In fact, save for two bottles, one of which was the Dalmore 50, Macallan dominated the entire top end of the sale all the way down to a Springbank 1964 Cadenhead 34-year-old at a healthy, and somewhat unsurprising, £2500. In between all that one of the most interesting, and telling, high results were for John Scott’s 1965 35-year-old Highland Park which finished up at £3300. I remember buying the 42-year-old in this series in London in 2008 for £180 and subsequently drinking it. Given the quality of the whisky in these John Scott Highland Park bottlings, it seems retrospectively obvious that they would end up at such prices.
It was good to see the Glenfarclas 105 40-year-old back, hitting a healthy £2150 after a reasonable period of absence. Similarly, the Mortlach 1936 45-year-old and MacPhail’s 1938 45-year-old both did well at £1950 and £1900 respectively.
Springbank 12-year-old 100 proof bottlings from the 1990s have sat around the £1000 mark for quite some time now, so it was interesting to see one last night finish up at £1850 – exactly the same as the 22-year-old Cadenhead dumpy Springbank. This looks like it could well represent a bump up to a new trading level for this bottle, something not underserved considering what a legendary whisky it is.
The Lagavulin Syndicate 38-year-old appears to be holding strong at £1600. Another of quite a few Springbanks in this sale, the 1969 Signatory 28-year-old, performed well at £1150. Similarly, independent Macallans are increasingly chasing their official siblings up the auction levels with three Douglas Laing 30-year-old single casks fetching £1100 and £1050 respectively.
The Ardbeg Mor 1st edition was back on strong form at £900. And the long-awaited inaugural bottling of Daftmill single malt looks like a strong future classic, trading as it is already at £625. The Ardbeg 1975 and 1977 official vintage releases at £600 and £575 respectively showed good solid growth for these old classic bottlings.
Other strong results were a 1947 White Horse for £490, although for the historic nature of this liquid this also still seems like a good price for a drinker as well. The Cragganmore 17-year-old Manager’s Dram and the Glen Elgin 16 Manager’s Dram both did well at £450 and £525 respectively. This whole series is on the upward move so it’s nice to see these two slightly underrated examples getting the attention they deserve.
Similarly, Glen Ord, another seriously underrated distillery, saw one of the best examples ever bottled fetch an impressive £410. Although, if you ask me, this still represents good value for the liquid. Old Balblairs are another area where plenty of examples were arguably too cheap for too long, it seems this is changing as well. The 1974 ‘Highland Selection’ Balblair fetched a solid £390.
Although, at the same price levels one of the bargains of the sale was the Strathisla 35-year-old Bicentenary for £390. Given this is known to be a 1947 Strathisla it’s a terrific price for a drinker. Similarly, the Ardbeg 1974 23 year old by Signatory for £360 was also something of a steal.
Looking further down the sale there is the usual mix of solid consistency, some bewildering results – I still don’t get why people are paying £280 for a litre of 1990s Scapa 10-year-old – and a tiny smattering of bargains. A Glenlochy 1980 27 year old by Part Des Anges looks good at £270 and a rare Laphroaig 10-year-old bottled for Japan around 1990 also looks good at £245.
Largely though, scrolling from around the £300 – £80 level of the sale, you’re mostly reminded of just how much has changed on the secondary market over the past two years. Bottles like litres of old 15-year-old Glendronach. The kind of thing you used to be able to pick up for £40-60 for so long, now trading at £130. While at the same time you can still get bottles like Tormore 1983 28 year old by the SMWS for £135. It’s a funny old whisky world. Thankfully it’s still also a lot of fun!
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