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Macallan releases new rare single malt for 200th anniversary

The Macallan has released the second edition in its series of rare single malt Scotch whiskies which highlight the “story of the distillery’s pioneers and their legacy”.

Called Tales of The Macallan Volume II, the release is a “homage” to Alexander Reid, who is the founder of The Macallan, and shows him as a teacher, farmer, and distiller, on his journey as the whisky producer marks its 200th anniversary.

Reid established the distillery on Easter Elchies Estate, Speyside, Scotland, in 1824, “resisting the adoption of large, higher volume stills”, and instead “preferring the value of patience to deliver the uncompromised excellence for which The Macallan continues to be renowned”, the producer said.

The small stills favoured by Alexander Reid continue to be fundamental to The Macallan, and remains one of the brand’s “Six Pillars”. Created by whisky maker Euan Kennedy, it is from the 1949 vintage, and bottled in 2022. Kennedy said Reid’s commitment to quality had guided “successive generations” of the producer, including himself.

He said: “Displaying beautiful tones of bronzed oak, and subtle red hues that reflect the original meaning of Alexander Reid’s surname in Scots – The Red One – this rare and unique single malt whisky possesses an incredible complexity achieved through age and patient maturation.

“Enjoying a lingering smokiness redolent of whiskies of Alexander’s time, it is a fitting tribute to his living legacy as we celebrate our 200th anniversary year.”

Encased in a bespoke handcrafted Lalique crystal decanter, it also features etched illustrations by renowned British illustrator, Andrew Davidson, who is known for his traditional print techniques using wood engravings. Davidson’s work has included postage stamps for the UK’s Royal Mail and designs for the glass doors at Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

Lalique and The Macallan first came together in 2005 and have since collaborated on a range of decanters and products.

In addition, London-based bookbinders, Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe and Zaehnsdorf, which specialises in fine binding, restoration and conservation of books and manuscripts, created the Tales of The Macallan Volume II book, which required technical expertise to conceal the decanter within its 800 pages. Artisan printer, Imprimerie du Marais in Paris, which creates luxury pieces using specially developed paper, ink and printing processes, printed each individual page.

A short film has also been made featuring a selection of Davidson’s illustrations and is set to an original piece of music composed by acclaimed Scottish folk music composer, Craig Armstrong. His modern piece reflects on legacy, and what it means to create and be influenced by the landscape of Scotland.

A limited release of 344 decanters, Tales of The Macallan Volume II is available for £77,391 and will be available at The Macallan Estate, The Macallan Boutiques and premium off-trade retailers.

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