The Macallan Chronicles Two Historic Journeys With Limited Smoky 73-Year-Old Whisky
When you’ve been in business for as long as The Macallan, you tend to appreciate the value of a good story. So goes Volume II in the Tales Of The Macallan series, which chronicles two separate journeys through one limited edition single malt. Released in honour of the distillery’s very own founding, the liquid sat in oak for 73 long years before bottling. It arrives on the heels of Volume I but also last year’s The Macallan Reach, their oldest expression to date at 81 years.
It was 200 years ago exactly that The Macallan founder Alexander Reid was granted a licence to distil whisky on Speyside’s Easter Elchies estate. Whilst his peers were building higher-volume stills to produce more spirit, Reid held fast to his original vision of smaller stills, as he felt they cultivated better flavour and character. Not only does The Macallan continue to use “curiously small stills” to this day—even in their new distillery—but those same stills endure as one of the brand’s Six Pillars.
One might say that every The Macallan release is an homage to the distillery’s founding but the Tales Of The Macallan Volume II single malt certainly dials up the concept. On the bespoke crystal decanter is an etching of Alexander Reid’s journey as he went from farmer to distiller and founder. Every etching is based on illustrations by Andrew Davidson, which are featured in a massive 800-page tome about Alexander Reid that doubles as a presentation case.
Then we have the rare whisky itself, which underwent an extraordinary journey of its own. Originally distilled in 1949, it rested in oak for 73 long years being bottled in 2022. Its subtle red hue is yet another homage to Alexander Reid, whose surname in Scots was ‘The Red One.’ The taste reportedly follows suit— according to The Macallan lead whisky maker Euan Kennedy—who described “a lingering smokiness redolent of whiskies of Alexander’s time.”
It’s no surprise that Tales Of The Macallan Volume II will cost a small fortune—USD$89,000, in fact—but you probably knew as much as soon as you laid your eyes on this thing. Bottled at 44.8 per cent ABV, it’s limited to just 344 bottles. You can “register interest” through the distillery’s website and then purchase accordingly, presuming you have the means. But the question remains: will anyone who scores a bottle actually open it? We have our doubts!
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