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The Macallan Distillery

The Macallan (Pronounced Ma-Cal-Lan) the Rolls Royce of the Single Malt Whiskies.

Don’t take my word for it, just look at their presentation, reputation, production level and market value. 

Don’t get me started about the auction value of this brand. If you buy a old Macallan you know you will be good for a lifetime and the value of this bottle will only increase with the years. 

But if you look at the auction prices it sold one of the highest priced bottles in history, a 60 years old Macallan for 1.1 million dollars.( ya that’s right i didn’t stutter.)  

This is certainly liquid art  and it’s not likely that this bottle will ever be opened. Its history in a bottle.

But whisky is meant to be drunk and to be shared with friends and family. 

The Macallan is one brand that just not only look good on your shelf, it taste damn good and is consisted in what they put out their. (If you have the money that is)

The Macallan is one of the top 3 best-selling whisky brands in the world. You don’t get that big by selling crappy whisky. So they must be doing something right. 

Dont get me wrong, i would buy a Macallan in a heart beat and its one of the whisky brands that is close to my heart. 

The Macallan is one of those brands where the value for money is a bit of. 

The Macallan earned its reputation because of their strong and consistent brand and whisky. So supply and demand came into place. The American and Asian market bought all of the age stated releases and the Macallan was forced to bring out NAS (Non Age Statement ) bottles. With their 1824 series being released, the Macallan had some breathing room to expand their distillery, warehouses and overall production. 

 

Nowadays we all get to enjoy the Macallan (and not only some countries) 

But because of this everybody around the world got to enjoy and experience the Macallan., and like is said it’s a damn good single malt whisky.  Who wouldn’t want to drive a Rolls Royce. So the Macallan got their name out in the world. So they can ask whatever they want and people still will buy the Macallan. 

This is a dangerous position for the Macallan. Ask too much and people will walk away, Ask too little your stock will vanish. Thats why i think the Macallan did a great job by expending their production and distillery for future years to come. 

This was a huge risk for the Macallan and took a lot of vision and guts to invest into their new and amazing distillery. 

The Macallan has a rich history and knows what they are doing with marketing their brand. Their newly opened distillery is a awarded piece of art and a must-see if you are in Scotland.

The first time visiting the Macallan distillery it made me  feel like a little kid in an amusement park. Lots of wow and mouth dropping moments for me. 

The Macallan is also one of those brands that isn’t afraid to experiment with new releases.

Take the Macallan Edition Series No. 1-5 for example. Its something special every year and the different collaboration they do is amazing. It’s a nas series of single malt whiskies that made way for other nas whiskies to get acknowledged and join the whisky market. Makes me squeeze my hands every time a new edition comes out.

But that’s not all. What about their rare and old collection. This is a good example that whisky is liquid history and art.

The Macallan is one of those whisky brands that you must have tasted and experienced once in a lifetime.  

So yes, they are a bit expensive, but i would happily pay for it as long as i know i get quality in return. 

  • Owner

    Edrington Group

  • Status

    Operational

  • Country

    Scotland

  • Region

    Speyside

  • Production type:

    Single Malt

  • Founded

    1824

  • Production yearly

    15.000.000 Liters

History

One of the original farm distilleries of Speyside, Macallan became legal in 1824 when Alexander Reid obtained (or was persuaded to obtain) one of the new licences issued after the passing of the 1823 Excise Act. In 1868, James Stuart took the lease and rebuilt the plant. His ownership ended in 1892, when he sold Macallan to one of the giants of Victorian distilling, Roderick Kemp, who had previously owned Talisker. Kemp’s descendants – in particular the Shiach family – retained ownership until the 1996 takeover by Highland Distillers (now Edrington).

 

The plant has continually been expanded from its original wooden shed with two stills. It was increased to five stills (two wash, three spirit) in 1954 and then more significantly in 1965 when a new stillhouse with seven stills was built. This process continued throughout the 1970s with the total number of stills reaching 21 by 1975.

For a distillery which has become synonymous with the growth of single malt, it is worth remembering that Macallan has always been an important malt for blending. It wasn’t until the early 1980s, faced with a downturn in the market for fillings, that Macallan decided to focus more strongly on the then new single malt category.

The management team of Allan Shiach, Frank Newlands, Hugh Mitcalfe and Willie Phillips oversaw a campaign which both positioned the malt as a ‘first-growth whisky’ it called ‘the Cognac of whisky’, while always retaining a somewhat bohemian and irreverent approach to advertising and promotion.

A firm belief in the fusion of the oily, heavy, new make style and ex-Sherry casks saw Macallan, under Edrington’s governance, become the first distillery to create so-called ‘bespoke’ casks: selecting specific trees (predominantly in northern Spain, though some American oak is specified), and then with Jerez-based cooper Tevasa specifying the length and nature of drying, type of coopering, the liquid used for seasoning (oloroso) and the duration of that process. Investment in wood has increased significantly in recent years, with a complex of massive warehouses being built on the estate.

In recent years, a greater emphasis has been placed on the nascent luxury whisky market with bottlings of 50- and 60-year-old Macallan in Lalique decanters, the creation of the Fine & Rare vintage range dating back to 1926, and the Masters of Photography series.

This has not been without controversy. Its growing status as a collectable malt saw Macallan become the victim of fakers in the late 1990s. The subsequent investigation has, however, helped establish a methodology to check the authenticity of suspicious bottlings.

On a whisky-making front, 2004 saw the introduction of Fine Oak, where American oak ex-Sherry casks and some ex-Bourbon casks were used in a mirror range to the ‘classic’ 100% ex-Sherry range. Though old Macallan lovers protested, the lighter, sweeter, flavour profile brought in new drinkers, mostly in new markets.

The 1824 Range, a four-strong series not carrying age statements which replaced some of the younger expressions in the portfolio, followed in 2013, using whisky colour as a communication and branding device. 

The second stillhouse was brought back on stream in 2008, and in 2013 it was announced that a completely new, £100m distillery was to be built.

The new distillery – a distinctive subterranean design – was commissioned on 9 November 2017 and opened officially in May 2018, at a final cost of £140m.

Whisky Fact: “The Macallan is also used for the blended whisky called Famous Grouse. This blend contains whisky from distilleries such as Highland Park and the Macallan. This makes it a smooth and delicious blended whisky.”
Livingbythedram
Whisky Blogger

Timeline of The Macallan

Distillery Facts

Taste profile

New Distillery

 

In Juli 2019 the Macallan opened their doors with their new distillery costing 140 million pounds. With it their new  visitors center, macallan bar and restaurant. This all next to the famous and historical Easter Elchies Estate. The new distillery was made and designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and won the Stirling prize for excellence in architecture.

 

The development is set into the landscape of an estate that has been distilling the world’s leading single malt since 1824. The Macallan is one of the most sought after whiskies in the world and the company wanted to create a building that would reveal the production processes and welcome visitors while remaining sensitive to the beautiful surrounding countryside.

The new distillery will also enable production of The Macallan to increase by a third.

Internally, a series of production cells are arranged in a linear form with an open-plan layoutshowing all stages of the production process. These cells are reflected above the building in the form of a gently-undulating timber roof. Grass-covered peaks rise and fall from The Macallan estate grounds, signalling the activities beneath to approaching visitors. Set into the naturally sloping contours of the site, the design makes direct references to ancient Scottish earthworks.

The visitor experience starts with an introduction to The Macallan in an exhibition and galleryarea, before progressing through a sequence of spaces that follow the production story.

Natural materials – local stone, timber and the living meadow roof – as well as the landscapingdesign, not only evoke the environment and ingredients of whisky production, but also create an atmospheric journey for the visitor.

Speaking as the distillery was launched, Senior Partner and Lead Architect Graham Stirk said; “The Macallan estate truly is a special place; a place we have come to love and respect hugely. The vision was always ambitious but this enabled us to challenge our own thinking to create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring. It has been an honour to play our part in shaping the next chapter for Macallan. We were always trying capture the words of the Macallan: The mystery revealed, the idea of being aware of something which is definitely manmade but is of landscape.”

Project Architect Toby Jeavons said; “I feel privileged to have been a part of this incredible project. For five and a half years we have worked with a wonderful client group, one that has demonstrated great ambition and all within the most beautiful of landscapes. The process of delivering the project, whilst challenging always remained a joy. The collaboration and collective spirit that developed throughout the entire team has delivered a project of immense complexity of which we are all very proud. For the future visitor, the majesty of the visitorexperience will begin with a beautiful drive through the Scottish Highlands. Arriving at the sitethe visitor’s journey weaves and meanders via a serpentine drive allowing views of barley and the River Spey beyond. The tree lined approach towards Easter Elchies house teases with glimpses of the new distillery and visitor experience ahead. The visitor enters the new buildingvia a link beneath the ground that compresses the experience before releasing and emerging into the cathedral like volume within.”

6 pillars of Macallan

 

-Spiritual Home

Built in 1700 from locally quarried sandstone for Captain John Grant, their Spiritual Home, Easter Elchies House, is a fine example of a Highland manor house. The 485-acre Macallan Estate lies in an area of natural beauty and is farmed sensitively, in harmony with the environment.

 

-Curiously small stills

The Macallan’s Curiously Small Stills are amongst the smallest on Speyside. Their unique size and shape give the spirit maximum contact with the copper, helping to concentrate the ‘new make’ spirit and provide the rich, fruity, full-bodied flavours characteristic of The Macallan. There are 24 of these spirit stills, crafted from copper, each holding an initial ‘charge’ of 3,900 litres.

 

-Finest Cut

We carefully select the finest quality spirit from our stills to ensure we create the best single malt whisky. This finest cut ensures we produce our signature viscous mouth-feel and fruity aroma and flavour. This small portion, or ‘cut’ is incredibly selective and one of the finest in the industry. It is primarily responsible for the full-bodied richness of The Macallan new make spirit. This clear colourless spirit is selected at just under 70% alcohol by volume. This distinctly robust and characterful ‘new make’ spirit is the starting point for all Macallan.

 

-Exceptional Oak Cask

Our exceptional oak casks are the single greatest contributor to the outstanding quality, natural colours and distinctive aromas and flavours of The Macallan. These oak casks are crafted to our own specifications and account for up to 80% of the final aromas and flavours of The Macallan. Because of this, we spend more per cask than any other distillery in sourcing, crafting, seasoning and caring for its casks.

 

-Natural Colour

All colour in The Macallan whiskies, bottled by the distillery, is natural. Only the interaction of the ‘new make’ spirit with the oak of the maturation casks delivers the rich and natural diversity of colour throughout the range, from light oak through to darkest mahogany. These natural colours remain ‘fixed’, as opposed to artificial colour which fades relatively quickly in bright sunlight. Great skill is required by the Master Whisky Maker to achieve consistency of natural colour from bottling to bottling.

 

-Peerless Spirit

From place and production, to people and passion. The Macallan is the result of such defining mastery and intricacy, it is unmatched; peerless in each and every way.

Core range 

At this point The Macallan’s core range is: 

 

For all archived bottles of The Macallan 

Distillery Tours

A guided walk around the distillery, followed by a tasting of our award-winning  whiskies.

Duration:

About 1 hour

DRAMS

4 drams

Cost:

£15 per person
This new experience takes guests through our proud heritage, while exploring the journey from acorn to glass and sampling some of our distinguished single malt whiskies. You will be welcomed with The Macallan roast coffee and home baked scones, before exploring The Macallan Whisky Wall.

You will then be led by one of our friendly and knowledgeable hosts through the Distillery experience, including a guided tour of our iconic Cave Priveé for a tutored tasting of some carefully selected Macallan whiskies, before visiting The Macallan Bar for a final whisky experience.
 

Duration:

2 hours 30 minutes

Price:
£50.00 per person

Frequency: Saturday and Sunday at 11:00am

This experience delves deeper into the whisky making process and starts with a welcome dram at The Macallan Whisky Wall before enjoying a two-course lunch in our Elchies Brasserie, paired with wines. You will be led on an in-depth production experience through the distillery, before being guided through a tutored tasting of a carefully curated selection of Macallan whiskies in our iconic Cave Priveé.

You will then be invited to The Macallan Bar to experience a Macallan whisky flight. After your experience, our hosts will be available to offer a personal shopping experience in The Macallan Boutique. Guests will each receive an engraved glass to commemorate their visit.

Duration:
About 4 hours
 
Price:
£250 per person
Frequency: Saturday and Sunday at 12:00pm
 

The Macallan Bar

 

At the Macallan there is the Macallan Bar. Where you can sample some of their finest whiskies, with panoramic views of the surrounding hills of Speyside. Whilst your experiences must be booked in advance, you do not need to book an experience to enjoy the bar, although it will be open at a reduced capacity because of Covid-19.
 
At the bar you can not only taste The Macallan that you are used to but also some very exclusive and iconic whiskies from The Macallan. Its a once in a lifetime experience.  

Visitor center 

OPENING TIMES

 

2020 APRIL-OCTOBER OPENING TIMES

1 Apr 2020 – 31 Oct 2020

 

Day Times
Monday 09:30 18:00
Tuesday 09:30 18:00
Wednesday 09:30 18:00
Thursday 09:30 18:00
Friday 09:30 18:00
Saturday 09:30 18:00
Sunday 09:30 18:00

 

2020 NOVEMBER-DECEMBER OPENING TIMES

 

1 Nov 2020 – 17 Dec 2020

Day Times
Monday 09:30 17:00
Tuesday 09:30 17:00
Wednesday 09:30 17:00
Thursday 09:30 17:00
Friday 09:30 17:00
Saturday 09:30 17:00
Sunday 09:30 17:00

CONTACT DETAILS

Easter Elchies,
Craigellachie,
Aberlour,
Moray,
AB38 9RX
The Macallan social media links
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