Introducing The Red Collection

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Katie Faulds


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The Macallan has unveiled The Red Collection, a new range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies which captures The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship.

Inspired by the significance of the colour red throughout the history of the brand, The Red Collection features a selection of ongoing aged expressions and occasional high aged guest releases.

At the heart of The Red Collection is The Macallan 40 Years Old, The Macallan 50 Years Old and The Macallan 60 Years Old which are the oldest ongoing expressions ever offered by The Macallan. Each of the releases will be available in limited quantities globally.

They will be joined on occasion by high aged guest releases, commencing with The Macallan 71 Years Old, The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old. These incredibly rare single malts are among the world’s oldest Scotch whiskies, with The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old being the oldest bottlings ever released by the brand.

An extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s after being gifted by The Macallan to raise funds for food charity, City Harvest, which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across London. The Sotheby’s auction runs from 22 October to 31 October 2020.

Distilled decades ago in The Macallan’s signature curiously small copper stills and expertly matured in oak by successive generations of whisky makers, The Red Collection is testament to The Macallan’s commitment to craftsmanship. Over time, these single malt whiskies have slowly been shaped and influenced by the carefully selected casks to deliver extraordinarily elegant aged releases.

The colour red has deep and long-standing significance for The Macallan, beginning with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824. His surname means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair.

In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range. It was reportedly shipped in cases labelled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from The Macallan’s existing whiskies, which featured black labelling.

And almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950. Allan Shiach, chairman of The Macallan at that time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.

The three characters now feature in a remarkable animated film created to introduce The Red Collection in collaboration with celebrated Spanish painter and illustrator Javi Aznarez. The Spanish creator is acclaimed for his striking graphic art which has featured in several Hollywood films, including respected director Wes Anderson’s upcoming feature, The French Dispatch, and was also instrumental in the storyboard development for 'Greta' by director Neil Jordan in 2018. The animation is set to music recorded by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most influential classical artists.

Each expression in The Red Collection is encased in an oak presentation box created from the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s oak casks. The boxes are beautifully upholstered with sustainably sourced soft red leather from Scottish supplier Bridge of Weir Leather, which creates upholstery for leading luxury car brands worldwide.

A bespoke handcrafted case that can house the trio of ongoing or guest releases has also been developed by Scottish artisan furniture and objet d’art manufacturer, Method Design Studio, which supplies some of the world’s top luxury brands.

Each of the permanent releases in The Red Collection has been hand finished and signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 and is the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand which spans almost 200 years. Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan, has signed the initial guest releases.

Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, said: “Created from some of the world’s oldest and rarest casks it is an incredible privilege to have crafted The Red Collection.

“It’s thanks to the foresight of previous custodians of The Macallan, who laid down and aged these extraordinary casks, that we have been able to curate such a remarkable selection of whiskies.

“Each precious drop offers a unique opportunity to explore The Macallan’s whisky making legacy. The incredible elegance and rich flavours of the expressions that form The Red Collection are a direct result of the craftsmanship, knowledge and skills nurtured by our master whisky makers, past and present.”

The Macallan Red Collection will be available from Harrods, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and other selected specialist retailers from 15 October 2020.


The Red Collection will have an RRSP as follows:

The Macallan 40 Years Old - £11,300

The Macallan 50 Years Old - £37,500

The Macallan 60 Years Old - £49,000

The Macallan 71 Years Old - £58,500

The Macallan 74 Years Old - £61,500

The Macallan 78 Years Old - £65,500


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