The Macallan has unveiled Tales of The Macallan Volume I, the first limited-edition whisky in a new series of single malts which tells the story of The Macallan pioneers and their whisky-making legacy.
Tales of The Macallan Volume I, The Laird of Easter Elchies (1659 – 1715), is an homage to Captain John Grant, who in 1700 realised the potential of Easter Elchies Estate, the site of The Macallan whisky distillery since 1824. He set new standards of excellence, and his story reflects The Macallan’s heritage, craftsmanship and pursuit of uncompromised excellence for nearly 200 years.
Born in 1659 in a remote location on the banks of the River Spey, John Grant had a military career in his youth, became a captain and fought in the war. The Grants had owned the land since 1543, but it was on John’s return from war that he transformed the wild landscape he had inherited into the ‘garden of Elchies’, the birthplace of The Macallan. John worked the land to create the ideal conditions for growing barley and his labours helped to sustain a small farming community that would one day use its crops to distill Scotch whisky. In 1700, he extended and refurbished Easter Elchies House which is now The Macallan’s Spiritual Home.
Tales of The Macallan Volume I is crafted by Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess to honour John Grant’s legacy. Distilled in 1950 and bottled in 2021, it is a distinctive and extremely rare expression.
“Tales of The Macallan tells of remarkable individuals and an exceptional spirit,” explains Burgess. “Each of these people left their mark on The Macallan with their unique contribution and legacy alive in our brand’s DNA and in every drop of our whisky to this day.
“Tales of The Macallan Volume I is a tribute to Captain John Grant, who paved the way for The Macallan and brought the influence of nature and community spirit. As custodians of the Estate, we are continuously inspired by our environment, upholding our responsibility to nurture and protect the wonderful natural habitat that is home to our distillery.
“Just like The Macallan Estate and Easter Elchies House, this precious whisky echoes of a very old tale. Wood spices, sweet wood smoke and antique oak are omnipresent and make a perfect liaison with the delicate symphony of ripe fruits and spices.”
Bottled at 44.6%, the whisky offers aromas of grapefruit zest, antique oak, vanilla, melon, wood smoke, nutmeg, ripe plum, and almond. The palate delivers peach and apple, wood spice with ginger and hints of clove, sweet wood smoke and Yuzu. The medium finish boasts notes of citrus and sweet oak.
Encased in a handcrafted Lalique crystal decanter, this single malt is concealed within an extraordinary almanac book. Each chapter tells the story of John Grant and features illustrations by Andrew Davidson. United by a dedication to craftsmanship and creativity, The Macallan collaborated with the illustrator, renowned for his traditional print techniques using wood engravings, to create a collection of hand-crafted illustrations depicting Captain John Grant’s story.
The Macallan also combined the skills of master craftsmen in crystal, leather and paper to create the unique packaging. Long-standing partner Lalique fashioned the flawless crystal decanter etched with one of Davidson’s illustrations. Attracted by a shared sense of heritage, craftsmanship and creativity, Lalique and The Macallan first came together in 2005 and since then have collaborated on a range of decanters and products. Tales of The Macallan marks the next chapter in this long-standing partnership.
Traditional London-based bookbinders, Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe and Zaehnsdorf, created the unique book, hand-crafted using luxurious leather and 24ct gold leaf, to conceal the decanter within its pages, and artisan printer, Imprimerie du Marais in Paris, expertly printed each individual page.
An animation featuring some of Davidson’s illustrations and set to an original piece of music composed by Nicola Benedetti has been created to bring to life the story of John Grant.
Limited to 350 decanters worldwide, Tales of The Macallan Volume I is priced at $80,000 / £60,000 / €65,000 and will be available at The Macallan Estate, The Macallan Boutiques and premium off-trade retailers beginning August 2021.
Last month, The Macallan and luxury British automotive manufacturer Bentley Motors unveiled a new partnership that will build on their rich heritage to develop distinctive collaborations and further their vision of a more sustainable future. The two world-leading brands will share learnings from their respective industries, while pursuing the uncompromised excellence for which they are renowned.
In June, The Macallan unveiled Concept No 3, a collaboration with graphic designer David Carson. It is the latest release in The Macallan Concept Series, which fuses the artistry and expertise behind The Macallan’s whisky-making with creativity and culture.