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The Macallan Celebrates 200 Years

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March 7, 2024 — The Macallan has unveiled Tales of The Macallan Volume II, the second edition in a remarkable series of rare single malt Scotch whiskies which tells the story of The Macallan pioneers and their whisky-making legacy. 

The second release pays homage to Alexander Reid, founder of The Macallan, and depicts him as a teacher, farmer, and distiller, on his journey to ultimate mastery.  It is a fitting tribute that describes Alexander’s story and the standards of excellence in craftsmanship he instilled that have passed on through each generation of whisky masters and held today, 200 years later.

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Alexander established the Distillery on Easter Elchies Estate, Speyside, Scotland, in 1824.  A driven individual, he strived for perfection by establishing core production principles. He believed that small stills produce better flavor and character, so he resisted the adoption of large, higher volume stills, instead preferring to deliver the uncompromised excellence for which The Macallan continues to be renowned.

The curiously small stills, as they are described, favored by Alexander Reid continue to be a fundamental guiding principle for The Macallan, featuring in its Distillery and remaining one of the brand’s Six Pillars, the foundation stones for The Macallan’s character.

Crafted by The Macallan Lead Whisky Maker, Euan Kennedy, his exemplary 1949 vintage whisky, bottled in 2022, was selected at the apex of its maturation, for its release in honor of founder, Alexander Reid, and the 200th anniversary year.

Euan Kennedy said: “Tales of The Macallan Volume II is a tribute to our founder Alexander Reid, whose commitment to quality and craftsmanship established the pursuit of uncompromised excellence that has continued to guide successive generations of The Macallan’s whisky makers, like myself, to this day.

“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, this exceptional single malt is concealed within an extraordinary almanac. A true work of art, each chapter tells the story of The Macallan’s founder, Alexander Reid, and features beautiful illustrations by renowned British illustrator, Andrew Davidson. Known for his traditional print techniques using wood engravings, Andrew’s work has included postage stamps for the UK’s Royal Mail and designs for the glass doors at Wimbledon’s Centre Court. 

Tales of The Macallan is a culmination of creative collaborations of the greatest craftspeople, reflected in each detail of the collection. To create the unique packaging, The Macallan has partnered with an array of suppliers, combining the skills of master craftsmen in crystal, leather and paper. Long-standing partner, master French crystal maker Lalique fashioned the flawless crystal decanter to house the whisky, etched with Andrew Davidson’s captivating illustrations depicting Alexander Reid as a teacher, farmer and distiller. Attracted by a shared sense of heritage, craftsmanship and creativity, Lalique and The Macallan first came together in 2005 and have since collaborated on a range of exquisite decanters and products. 

Traditional London-based bookbinders, Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe and Zaehnsdorf, which specializes in fine binding, restoration and conservation of books and manuscripts, created the unique, hand-crafted Tales of The Macallan Volume II book which demanded extraordinary 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, expertly printed each individual page.

To mark the launch of Tales of The Macallan Volume II, a remarkable zoetrope-style animation has been created to bring to life the story of Alexander Reid. The short film features a selection of Andrew Davidson’s illustrations and is set to a captivating, original piece of music composed by acclaimed Scottish composer, Craig Armstrong. His bespoke, modern folk piece reflects on legacy, and what it means to create and be influenced by the landscape of Scotland.

Tales of The Macallan Volume II is a limited-edition release of 344 decanters and is available now for an SRP of $89,000 at The Macallan Estate, The Macallan Boutiques and premium off-trade retailers. 

For further information on US purchasing, please email: 

Whisky Maker’s Notes – Euan Kennedy, Lead Whisky Maker

Color: Bronzed oak

ABV: 44.8%

Nose: Rich forest fruits, sweet aromatic woodsmoke, antique oak, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla pods, subtle herbal note, treacle toffee.

Palate: Black cherries, plum jam, dark chocolate orange, almond and custard pastry, ginger sponge with hints of cloves, sweet woodsmoke and a hint of loose tea leaves.

Finish: Long & complex, with a sweet lingering smokiness.