One of the best known distilleries for luxury single malt, The Macallan have unveiled a new bottling series, Tales of the Macallan. The new series will celebrate and pay tribute to the Macallan pioneers, those who shaped the future of the distillery.
Volume I will pay tribute to Captain John Grant, Laird of Easter Elchies, and will contain 71 year old whisky, making it one of the oldest Macallan expressions and indeed one of the oldest single malts available on the market.
The 71 year old whisky was distilled in 1950, and survived the whisky loch of the 1980s as well as the boom in single malt, remaining in the cask until 2021. To maintain whisky in the cask for 7 decades, and to achieve a bottling strength of 44.6% ABV requires incredibly close management and perfect storage conditions. This is something that Macallan excels in and they currently hold the record for the oldest age statement whisky ever bottled.
The longstanding partnership of Macallan and French crystal makers Lalique is certainly highlighted in this release. The Lalique decanter’s central band features an embossed illustration of the Easter Elchies House, spiritual home of the Macallan, and the estate for which Captain John Grant was Laird.
Volume I will retail for an eye-watering £60,000 and only 350 bottles will be available, making this an extremely limited run, perhaps in direct contrast with Macallan’s other commemorative series, the Archival Series. £60,000 may seem like a bargain to some when considering the fact that the 71 year old from Macallan’s Red Collection retailed for £58,500 despite lacking the highly bespoke packaging featured with this new series, including the Lalique decanter.
Not only is this whisky accompanied by a Lalique decanter, it is also housed in an 800 page book telling the life story of the feature of Volume I, Captain John Grant. Macallan describe the book as an ‘almanac’ and whilst those are most commonly books containing tabular data, just calling this tome a ‘book’ doesn’t do it justice. The design for the almanac was created by Shepherd’s Bookbinders, an English heritage bookmaker that specialises in fine bookbinding and manuscript conservation.
Inside the bespoke almanac are illustrations by renowned artist Andrew Davidson who uses a traditional engraving print method to create his designs. In perhaps an unwitting tie to Macallan’s roots, the press that Davidson uses to print his designs also heralds from the 1800s, just like the distillery itself. Davidson is also known for the glass doors for the centre court at Wimbledon and the 2013 edition covers of the Harry Potter book series. Andrew Davidson’s traditional illustration style has found a home in the Tales of the Macallan series.
Captain John Grant
Volume I of the Tales of the Macallan series will celebrate the contributions of Captain John Grant, who was Laird of Easter Elchies in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
A Laird is an aristocratic title given to owners of large, long-standing Scottish estates. The title sits between Baron and Gentleman on the traditional hierarchy of the societal ranks from the period.
The Grant family had owned the land of the Elchies estate since 1543 and when John Patrick Grant was born in 1659 it was near inevitable that he would take over the estate when he came of age.
Just before the turn of the century, Captain John Grant carried out major work on the country house. He added a wing to the formerly ‘L’ shaped house, turning it into a ‘T’ shape and expanding the square footage of the house by a considerable amount. The Easter Elchies house was becoming a country manor under Captain John Grant.
Macallan have said that this extension project “turned Easter Elchies House from a simple, semi-fortified tower house into a small Highland manor house… this special place was destined to become the spiritual home of The Macallan”.