The Macallan is beginning celebrations for its 200th anniversary in 2024 with the launch of Tales of The Macallan Volume II.
The rare single malt whisky is the second in the Tales of The Macallan series, which tell the story of key figures in the distillery's history and whisky making. Volume II pays homage to Alexander Reid, the founder of Macallan, who distilled its first whisky on the Easter Elchies Estate in Speyside.
A teacher and farmer as well as a distiller, Reid began making whisky at The Macallan with unusually small stills, which he continued to use despite the adoption of larger-volume stills by his peers through the 19th century.
The liquid chosen for the release, by The Macallan's lead whisky maker Euan Kennedy, was distilled in 1949 and bottled in 2022. It is presented in a handcrafted crystal decanter from Macallan's long-time partner, Lalique, which is concealed in an 800-page almanac produced by London-based bookbinders Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe, and Zaehnsdorf. Each chapter in the book tells the story of Reid, with illustrations by British artist Andrew Davidson.
In addition, an accompanying short animated film has been produced featuring a selection of Davidson's illustrations and set to an original piece of music by Scottish composer Craig Armstrong.
Kennedy said: “Tales of The Macallan Volume II is a tribute to our founder Alexander Reid, whose commitment to quality and craftsmanship established the pursuit of uncompromised excellence that has continued to guide successive generations of The Macallan’s whisky makers, like myself, to this day.
“Displaying beautiful tones of bronzed oak, and subtle red hues that reflect the original meaning of Alexander Reid’s surname in Scots – 'the red one' – this rare and unique single malt whisky possesses an incredible complexity achieved through age and patient maturation. Enjoying a lingering smokiness redolent of whiskies of Alexander’s time, it is a fitting tribute to his living legacy as we celebrate our 200th anniversary year.”
A limited release of 344 decanters of Tales of The Macallan Volume II will be made available, with a recommended price of US$89,000 / 89,000€ / £77,391. They will be available at The Macallan Estate, Macallan Boutiques, and premium retailers including Harrods, Selfridges, The Whisky Shop, and Berry Bros. & Rudd from 26 January.