The Macallan 50 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky has been silently awaiting its release for five decades. While that slow maturation lends incredible flavor and body to the whisky, it’s the unique process that Macallan uses to distill their Scotch that really sets it apart. That process starts with Macallan’s Curiously Small Stills. Among the smallest stills in Speyside, the stills have a unique size and shape that maximize the whisky’s contact with the copper. That extra exposure concentrates the spirit, giving it a richer and more fruity and full-bodies flavor. These stills are so famous that they have appeared on the back of a Bank of Scotland banknote. They’re also rare—Macallan only has 14 such stills.
Beyond the Curiously Small Stills, Macallan spirits are further set apart by the casks. Macallan views the casks to be so important that they spend more per cask than any other distillery, and it shows. The casks, which are built to strict specifications, account for up to 80 percent of the final aromas and flavors. Much of that flavor and the color are determined by the type of oak used for the casks. In the case of the 50 Years Old, Macallan Spanish oak sherry seasoned casks. During the maturation, the oak contributed color, character, aroma, and flavors to the single malt. Ultimately, the casks delivered a whisky that combines flavors of vanilla, spices, and fresh fruits with a subtle peat background, revealing Macallan’s commitment to tradition and excellence.