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
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