The Macallan releases the oldest single malt ever bottled

The Macallan releases the oldest single malt ever bottled

The Macallan The Reach is 81 years of age

News | 09 Feb 2022

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Crafted during the Second World War, The Reach was laid down in 1940, before The Macallan was compelled to close its doors for the first time since its founding in 1824. At 81 years old, it is the oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan, and the oldest Scotch whisky ever bottled (overtaking this Glenlivet expression).

Crafted from a single sherry-seasoned oak cask, the expression is presented in a mouth-blown glass decanter cradled on a bronze sculpture of three hands, both created by Scottish artisans.
Photo credit: Christina Kernohan

Sculptor Saskia Robinson modelled the hands on an artist's impression of one of those original stillmen. Meanwhile, the surface of the glass decanter features subtle indentations that match the fingerprints of the bronze hands which support it. A cabinet crafted using wood from a fallen elm tree, which is thought to have been on The Macallan Estate in 1940, houses the decanter.

Each hand of the sculpture represents characters in The Macallan’s history, and their unique story: the distillery workers of 1940, when the whisky was made; sometime chairman, Allan Schiah, who oversaw that process; and contemporary master whisky maker, Kirsteen Campbell, who selected the cask for The Reach.

Campbell commented, “It is an honour to introduce The Reach. Created during a turbulent time in the world, this extraordinary expression showcases The Macallan’s history, ingenuity and unmistakable strength of character…

“Its deep auburn hue is the first hint of this remarkable whisky’s astonishing depth. Offering notes of dark chocolate, sweet cinnamon and aromatic peat, leading on to treacle toffee, crystalised ginger and charred pineapple, before giving way to an intensely rich, sweet and smoky finish.”

A film has been created by London-based photographer Nadav Kander working closely with his art director, Matt Willey, who was previously art director of The New York Times Magazine. Featuring original music by Scottish band Mogwai, recently shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Prize, it tells the story of The Macallan’s legacy and the collaborative process behind The Reach.

Highly limited to only 288 decanters worldwide, The Reach (41.6%) is on display at The Macallan Estate Boutique from today, and will soon be displayed in travel retail boutiques. The RRP is £92,000.
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