- Pronunciation: mac-AL-lan
- Founded: 1824
- Region: Speyside
- Status: Operational
- Owner: Edrington Group
- Production Capacity: 9,400,000 litres a year
Arguably the most collectable of Scottish whiskies, Macallan is so engrained in Scotland's consciousness, it even appears on the back of a Bank of Scotland ten pound note.
Originally on the site of ‘Macallan’ farm the distillery was opened in 1824 by Alexander Reid.
In 1980 Highland Distillers decided to take the risky move of focusing on single malts, rather than the traditional blending market. As we all know, this paid off greatly by helping them to become one of the worldwide market leaders.
Macallan is the Guinness world record holder for the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold. This was a Macallan from 1946 presented in a Lalique Cire Perdue decanter. The bottled was auctioned a Sotheby’s in New York for charity and raised $460,000.
A Lalique decanter was also used for the single cask bottling known as the Macallan 888. Limited to 720 (not 888) bottles and released on 08/08/08 this would be the centre piece to any great Macallan collection.
There are plenty of old vintage Macallan available at auction, including the famous Fine and Rare collection, a range of vintages going back as far as 1929!
Macallan continually releases whiskies to celebrate events or anniversaries.Previous anniversary bottlings include the Prince Charles and Princess Diana,royal marriage bottling, a combination of two casks from 1948 and 1961.
More recent anniversaries have been commemorated with a special bottling for the most recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation, 50th Anniversary and the Jubilee.
Perhaps one of the most popular bottlings is the Private Eye Macallan, bottled to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the satirical magazine Private Eye, with a label design by Whisky Auctioneer's favourite artist, Ralph Steadman. 5000 bottles were released in 1996.
Some other Macallan to note are the Gran Reserva, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982. These whiskies have quickly become key investment items, increasing in value from approximately £350 in 2010 to £700-900 in 2013.
While Macallan has an extensive archive of releases, many of which are highly saught after, they continue to release single casks and anniversary bottlings, not to mention the older annual releases of 18 year old, 25 year old and 30 year old.
As a rule of thumb if it is a limited edition Macallan, it is very collectable,whilst being difficult to resist drinking.