Macallan's The Reach Breaks Record For World's Oldest Single Malt Scotch, Distilled in 1940
Macallan's latest release, The Reach, distilled and put to maturation in 1940, literally during World War II, has broken the record for World's Oldest Single Malt Scotch. The record was previously held by an 80 Year Old Gordon & MacPhail bottling that was released late 2021.
This 81 Year Old Macallan comes from a single Sherry cask and is presented in a glass decanter that is held up by a bronze frame consisting of three hands, which symbolises the collaboration that took to make the bottling happen. One hand is modelled after current whiskymaker Kirsteen Campbell, who selected the cask that would be bottled as The Reach, the other hand is modelled after that of Chairman Allan Shiach, who was also a screenwriter and producer, and the third and last is modelled after the artist's impression of an anonymous stillman and represents the distillery's workers during wartime.
"I wanted to bring to life the rich heritage of the whisky, and the sense of the passing of time and the intergenerational passing of knowledge, from the beginning of the process of creating it in 1940, to its maturation, to today and on a human level."
- Saskia Robinson, Sculptor behind Macallan's The Reach
Aside from the insane bronze sculpture, this will all snugly fit into a wooden cabinet made from a fallen elm tree that is thought to be part of The Macallan Estate back in 1940. Do they ever run out of historical materials lying around the estate?
“Created during a turbulent time in the world, this extraordinary expression showcases The Macallan’s history, ingenuity and unmistakable strength of character.
“The creation of many hands, The Reach has been a truly collaborative effort. It’s also a tribute to the people who made this precious whisky, and their enduring spirit which never wavered.
“Its deep auburn hue is the first hint of this remarkable whisky’s astonishing depth. Offering notes of dark chocolate, sweet cinnamon and aromatic peat, leading on to treacle toffee, crystallised ginger and charred pineapple, before giving way to an intensely rich, sweet and smoky finish.”
- Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whiskymaker of Macallan
Official Tasting Notes
Dark Chocolate, Sweet Cinnamon, Aromatic Peat, Plums, Leather, Pink Grapefruit, Redcurrant Jelly and a Rich Resinous Note
Treacle Toffee, Bramble Jam, Licorice, Crystalised Ginger, Nutmeg, Charred Pineapple, Pecans and Woodsmoke
Intensely Rich, Sweet and Smoky
The 41.8% ABV bottling has 288 decanters released globally at an RRP of US$125,000 or 92,000 GBP.
There will also be an accompanying film created by London-based photographer Nadav Kander and art director Matt Willey, which will feature music composed and recorded by Scottish band Mogwai, and will tell the story of The Macallan's legacy and the origins of The Reach.
It features music composed and recorded by Scottish band Mogwai to tell the story of The Macallan’s legacy and the collaborative process behind The Reach, and is available to view on the distillery's website.
Personally I think this is one of Macallan's more creative statement pieces - bottlings I highly doubt will be sampled aside from Macallan promotional tasting events. But as with Macallan's playbook, this is just one of the many releases that exist to keep the brand (and maybe to some extent the actual distillery and whisky) in the limelight to maintain the cult of Macallan. But hey, it works.
It is pretty insane that this was actually distilled in the midst of World War II, really tells you these folks had other things on their mind. For some context, the whisky was distilled at a time when Germany was invading Norway and had occupied Denmark, and there was a blitzkrieg happening in Belgium and the Netherlands. Pretty amusing to ponder what they were thinking at the time and what the order of priorities were: hide for dear life or fill this cask? Hmm, I think I'll fill the cask. Jokes aside, notes sound great, but why wouldn't they. And if it's any correlation, there's always a premium for World War II wines, so maybe a little bit of that would rub off on this.
All things considered, I'd say this is one of the best Macallan statement pieces yet, I actually find the entire presentation quite cool and unique versus some of the other Macallan heirlooms, like the Tales of The Macallan Volume I. If I had a cool US$125,000, I'd get this.
Pretty sure this would appreciate as well, more has certainly been paid for far, far less.
Cop the Drop or Not: Cop
(All Images Courtesy of The Macallan)
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