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The Macallan and Lalique: A Powerful Partnership

Distilleries

12.10.2019

A background on the combined artistic forces which have created some of the most sought-after and collectible bottles of rare whisky.

Rene Lalique Artwork

A background on the combined artistic forces which have created some of the most sought-after and collectible bottles of rare whisky.

A background on the combined artistic forces which have created some of the most sought-after and collectible bottles of rare whisky.

The Macallan Distillery

The Macallan is a name synonymous with the highest quality of whisky-making. A name that evokes excellence, craftsmanship and the quintessence of Scotch whisky.

From humble beginnings in 1824, when Alexander Reid, a local barley farmer and school teacher, leased eight acres of Easter Elchies land to build a distillery sculpted into Speyside's impressive landscape. Surrounded in enchanting scenery; the rolling hills of Speyside, the mighty river Spey and plains of rich fertile land, the site was a model environment for whisky-making. Life at the distillery began not as The Macallan, but as the Elchies Distillery.

The distillery passed through various owners until 1892 when it was bought by vintage distilling giant Roderick Kemp, who was a previous co-owner in Talisker. He led a revolution for The Macallan, undertaking a rebuild of the building into a modern (for the period) distillery, improving production and altering maturation to Spanish oak sherry casks.

Kemp's changes in 1894 can still be seen in The Macallan today. The most notable of milestones for The Macallan, however, was in 1980 when Highland Distillers (distillery owners at the time) took the risky move to focus on single malts. 

The Macallan distillery are renowned for their use of Golden Promise barley, stringent approach to cask selection, and natural colour achieved through slow maturation. They pride themselves on their six pillars, the principles that underpin the character of The Macallan and the creation of their rich spirit. These six pillars are the foundations to The Macallan's creation of single malt expressions which are adored across the world.

 

Lalique

Founded in 1888 by René Lalique (1860 – 1945), the tale of Lalique is one that goes hand in hand with the Art Nouveau movement.

René Lalique, born 1860 in Aÿ-Champagne, became one of the greatest names of his time. Lalique trained at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris, and the Sydenham Art College in London, before establishing his own Parisian jewellers in 1885.

Lalique championed semi-precious materials such as carved horn, enamel, ivory, mother-of-pearl and glass; at the time seemingly incompatible materials. Inspired by three central themes – the female form, floral and fauna, Lalique forged a reputation with the beauty, opulence and lyrical nature of his designs, today recognised as wearable pieces of art.

In 1907, René Lalique turned his attention and imagination to glass. His unique designs attracted elite clientele with esoteric tastes and visions for modernity.

Today, the name Lalique remains to be held in high esteem, renowned as the ultimate symbol of French luxury, producing timeless creations that share the artistic sense and conventions of René Lalique.

 

The Shared Belief

“The marriage and mastery of crystal, spirit and wood founded on a shared belief in craftsmanship, artistry and the obsessive pursuit of perfection.”  - The Macallan.

A collaboration between the masters of two fields, crystal and whisky, The Macallan and Lalique are described as kindred spirits.

Each Lalique decanter collaboratively designed with The Macallan, is crafted by hand at the Lalique glass-works in Wingen-sure-Moder, Alsace and has taken inspiration from both a design or specific technique from René Lalique's heritage and the story of The Macallan single malt whisky.

This partnership provides a masterful trilogy of meticulously limited production, remarkably mature malt whisky and exquisitely crafted decanters resulting in a collection of the most resplendent bottles in the world, the pinnacle in rare whisky collecting.

Eilidh Jack

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