During early 1945, V1 and V2 missiles screamed across the UK sky, until, in the spring, the Allies celebrated Germany’s official surrender, and The Macallan made whisky. Now, the iconic Speyside distillery is added a single malt Scotch distill that same year to its Red Collection, The Macallan 77 Years Old.
The Macallan Red Collection is a range of rare single malt Scotch whiskies that captures The brand’s respect for tradition and craftsmanship. Inspired by the significance of the color red throughout the history of the brand, it features a selection of ongoing aged expressions and occasional high aged guest releases.
The Macallan 77 Years Old is one of those high aged single malts and the first guest release to be inaugurated into the collection since the launch of the range in 2020. An incredibly rare whisky dating back to 1945, it is among the world’s oldest Scotch whiskies and is one of the oldest bottlings ever released by the brand.
The Red Collection is made up of the 40 Years Old, the 50 Years Old and the 60 Years Old, which are the oldest ongoing expressions ever offered by The Macallan. When the collection was initially released, it was joined by several ‘guest’ whiskies, the 71 Years Old, the 74 Years Old and the 78 Years Old. Now The Macallan 77 Years Old is joining the fun.
The color red thread begins with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824. His surname means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair. In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range, reportedly shipped in cases labeled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from the brand’s existing whiskies, which featured black labeling. And in 1980, red featured strongly again in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages as Allan Shiach, chairman at that time, tied a red ribbon around them to denote their age and value.
Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s small copper stills, the ‘new make’ spirit was laid down in hand-picked oak casks and left to mature for 77 years. Over time, the wood has shaped the unique character of the whisky, delivering the natural color, distinctive aromas, and full flavors of this aged single malt.
A beautiful balance of citrus fruits with hints of woodsmoke and antique oak open on the nose, paired with sweet notes of raisin and plump, chewy dates. Extremely rich and resinous, sumptuous baked custard, crystalised ginger, marmalade, sticky treacle and sweet smoke open on the palate, before moving into a medley of dried fruit. The finish is long with sweet woodsmoke, with the traditional flavour of Cherry Bakewell and the linger of tropical fruits.
In keeping with previous releases in the collection, the new expression is encased in a handcrafted oak presentation box, created in the UK, using the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s oak casks. The box has been upholstered with sustainably sourced, soft red Scottish leather from Bridge of Weir Leather. The bottle itself has been hand finished and signed by The Macallan Master Whisky Maker, Kirsteen Campbell.
“The Macallan 77 Years Old is an incredible new high aged guest expression for The Red Collection, which has been crafted from some of the world’s oldest and rarest casks,” said Kirsteen. “It is a peerless single malt whisky that has slowly matured over seven extraordinary decades until it reached peak perfection.
“This exquisite release reveals The Macallan’s legacy of incomparable craftsmanship, knowledge and skills nurtured by The Macallan’s master whisky makers, past and present. It is a great privilege to play a role in crafting the remarkable single malts which form The Red Collection today.”
A new animated film and series of illustrations have been created, depicting The Macallan Red Collection transcending from the past to the present, in collaboration with renowned Spanish painter and artist Javi Aznarez. The Spanish creator is acclaimed for his striking graphic art which has featured in several Hollywood films, including respected director Wes Anderson’s recent feature, The French Dispatch.
Bottled at 43.2% ABV, The Macallan 77 Years Old is priced at US$87,000 / £65,500 for the 70cl bottle and will be available from The Macallan Estate Boutique and The Macallan’s global network of domestic and travel retail outlets and in countries around the world from November 2022.
For more information, head over to The Macallan’s official website.
In October, Macallan added two whiskies to its Harmony Collection, Intense Arabica and Smooth Arabica.