For almost two centuries, the name The Macallan has resonated with class, refined taste and artisan meticulousness. Debatably the world’s number one single malt whisky brand, The Macallan takes quality and character very seriously in regard to its set of guiding principles, the Six Pillars, resulting in a selection of outstanding, sought-after whiskies.
The Macallan is not just a whisky brand, it’s a household name that goes beyond the malt. For example, the brand has successfully incorporated the art of photography into the art of whisky with The Macallan Masters of Photography series, where the characteristics of the whisky are brought to life through images and even film. In a nutshell, The Macallan is more than a drink, it’s a lifestyle. So when Edrington – the international premium spirits company to which the brand belongs – announced earlier this year that a new and improved distillery would open its doors for a bespoke visitor experience, whisky enthusiasts around the world rejoiced.
Since its conception in 1824, The Macallan has called the picturesque Easter Elchies estate in Speyside home. Now the enhanced “home” showcases stunning architectural wonders, a modern establishment built into the natural slope of the land, maintaining the Speyside landscape as much as possible.
The building began in December 2014, and while it took quite a while and no less than £140 million to turn the distillery into what it is now, it was all well worth it. Not only is the distillery a sight to behold, an awe-inducing destination for visitors and aficionados, but it also allows production to increase by a third – meeting the demand that keeps growing.
Bringing the best in the business, the distillery is designed by internationally respected architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, with stills crafted by Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, which has been with the brand since the 1950s. Approximately 400 people specialising in about 20 different fields were involved in the undertaking.
For both whisky connoisseurs and novices, the distillery allows access to the particular behind-the-scenes process that makes up the liquid gold we all know and love. To learn about each element involved in the making and to have a sip – or two, or more – of the top single malt selection, while enjoying the breathtaking natural surrounding is just precious.
The Macallan Creative Director Ken Grier mused, “As The Macallan has grown globally it has been very important that we make sure we can sustain demand for this wonderful amber liquid. We’ve taken exceptional care in making sure that the spirit that is produced in the new distillery is identical to the spirit that we produced in our previous distillery. This is the beginning of a really exciting new chapter in the evolution of this wonderful brand that is The Macallan.”
THE MACALLAN 1824 MASTERS SERIES
A bewitching concoction of classic oak – from the sherry-seasoned oak casks, lush hints of vanilla and chocolate and a light citrus zest to bring a balance, The Macallan Rare Cask is an aromatic liquid gem that goes creamily and yet smoothly on the palate.
Most whisky products leave the refreshing zest of citrus fruits in the background, but with The Macallan Reflexion, the quality takes centre stage. A tantalising zest of orange and citrus fruits seduces the nose, while on the palate the succulent sweetness of lemon and orange takes control – with subtle notes of raisin, sultana and apple, and cinnamon and ginger.
One of The Macallan’s products produced in collaboration with the finest crystal artisan, Lalique, the No. 6 is rich and sultry, with the velvety scent of raisins and a hint of bitter dark chocolate and sweet vanilla as the finish. On the palate, a daring combination of dates and figs, apples, sultanas, orange and ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of clove.
The rosewood-coloured liquid starts with vanilla and green apple on the nose, with subtle notes of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon, and strong hints of polished oak and orange. On the palate, however, it’s rich in wood spices before leaving a raisin and sultana vibe for the finish.