We Ship In Singapore🇸🇬 & Internationally🌏! New Bottles In Stock!

The Macallan - The Malt: Norman Shelley.
 For the love of Macallan.; “The Definitive Guide To Buying Vintage Macallan”

 

You can always tell when there's a Macallan in the auction room. The tension suddenly becomes as deep and intense as the whisky itself. Previous lots had whizzed by until the voice attached to the gavel announces: "Lot 176. The Macallan 50 Years Old. A rare and sought after item: lots of interest in this. I'll start the bidding at..."

And a flurry of number-waving hands rise, not bothering to play shy and wait for a reduction on the prelude price which they know will never come.

Usually the bidding is brisk and bloody At the end, for every victor there are countless vanquished. When being outbid on a Macallan, as I have myself, there are no prizes for coming second. Just an empty feeling. And the silent vow: "Better luck next time!"

Those in battle to improve their whisky collections, or simply find a Macallan to savour on special evenings, are a diverse lot and span the four corners of the globe. What they tend to have in common is the belief that the spirit from this cliff-top distillery by the Spey is the embodiment of all that is great about Scotch single malt; that it is the only nectar fit to fill the Holy Grail.

But there are few Macallan aficionados quite in the league of Norman Shelley. He has spent a hefty chunk of his life importing it into Turkey for distribution there and to countries beyond. And rather than go to the auctions he went to the distillers themselves, announced his true and undying love, and for a sum close to £250,000 bought an extensive collection of bottles from The Macallan's very own extraordinary whisky cellar. A move that put him into the Guinness Book of Records and left the world's thousands of Macallan devotees in a state of jealous awe that bordered on unconditional admiration.

Part of the deal is that the collection will be housed at the distillery for the public to come and enjoy, by sight rather than taste. Said Norman:

"I now have Macallans dating back to 1851 but I content myself drinking the 1946 and 1948 Vintages.
Really, I see myself as the guardian of this extraordinary collection, which is some honour."

Image kindly supplied by John Paul Photography

 This goes to show that you can still be a romantic as well as a successful businessman. And Norman's abiding philosophy helps: "Drinking Macallan is, for me, an enormous pleasure—it's fun!"

Fine and noble words from a distant
 relative of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who, with his friend Lord Byron, were the most celebrated poets of two centuries ago.

But for Norman Shelley his poetry is dark, silky and found in a glass. Known to many as The Macallan.

 

1950 | Charles Schultz's comic strip, 'Peanuts', featuring the puzzled 
Charlie Brown, his bossy friend Lucy, and Snoopy, a romantic, self-deluded
 beagle, was first published. The biggest ever robbery to date occurred at 
Brink Express Co. in Boston, when 8 men stole over $3.7 million in 17 minutes. J. Edgar Hoover and the F.B. I spent $129 million over several years to catch the perpetrators.

 

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

598

NOSE

Rich citrus lemons with peat smoke. Forward floral character almost perfume to the fore.

PALATE

Lemony and peaty, hints of spice and wood.

FINISH

Lemons and smoky peat notes with light wood.

STRENGTH

46.7% Vol.

COLOR

Oak

TINT

22

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

52 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,750

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,875

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£160

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

433 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

1950 | The Stone of Destiny, the coronation stone of Scottish Kings and
 Queens, was taken by Scottish Nationalists from the British coronation throne in Westminster Abbey. The 485Ib stone was later recovered in
April 1951. It had first been removed from Scotland by Edward I 700 years previously, and was finally returned to Scotland in 1996, where it now rests in Edinburgh Castle

 

 

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

600

NOSE

Apple fruits with floral notes and peat. Light background of dried fruits.

PALATE

Balanced fruits with peat smoke and light wood. Light vanilla from this second fill cask.

FINISH

Rich fruit and smoky peat with mixed all spice.

STRENGTH

51.7% Vol.

COLOR

Oak

TINT

21

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

52 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,725

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,850

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£158

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

467 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1951 | The US Census Bureau got serious with the introduction of the first
 commercial computer, UNIVAC 1. JD Salinger published the famous novel
 'Catcher in the Rye'; it quickly became a classic. Marlon Brando put on a 
T-shirt and starred in Tennessee Williams' ‘A Streetcar Named Desire'. The American automobile manufacturer, the Chrysler Corporation, introduced power steering.

 

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

644

NOSE

Robust green apples, lemon zest and light peaty phenols. Hints of cinnamon spices.

PALATE

Apples and lemons with a hint of peat.

FINISH

Vibrant apple fruits and lemon give way to drying peat smoke.

STRENGTH

52.3% Vol.

COLOR

Rich Oak

TINT

27

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

51 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,775

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,900

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£162

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

348 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1952 | Londoners said goodbye to an era with the last tram ride. The average
 weekly wage in the UK was £7.58. A vaccine for polio was developed by 
Dr. Jonas Salk. The U.S. began construction of the first nuclear submarine,
the 'Nautilus', whilst Britain developed its own atomic bomb. The missionary surgeon, Albert Schweitzer, won the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

 

 

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

627

NOSE

Honey, lemon citrus, light peat and wood. Robust floral notes.

PALATE

More dried fruits (raisins) than on the nose.
Peat smoke is still evident.

FINISH

Mixed dried fruits and lemons with light drying peat smoke.

STRENGTH

50.8% Vol.

COLOR

Oak

TINT

22

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

50 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,525

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,635

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£144

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

465 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1952 | Teen culture was exploding, as Dick Clark hosted the first American Bandstand, while Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed organised what came to be recognised as the first rock 'n roll concert. The fusion of African-American and
white American musical forms addressed the concerns of teens in a way that no music ever had before.

 

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

1250

NOSE

Pineapple/tropical fruits with orange citrus and light peat with wood age.

PALATE

Terrific fruit mix with hints of wood, resiny spices (cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg) with peat.

FINISH

Fruity cornucopia, classic wood maturity and a late hint of peat—wow!

STRENGTH

48.0% Vol.

COLOR

Rich Cherry

TINT

36

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

49 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,600

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,720

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£150

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

414 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1953 | Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing became the first humans to
 reach the summit of Mount Everest. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in
 Westminster Abbey. Joseph Stalin died. Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for 
Godot' opened in Paris and Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible', an allegory of the Communist witch hunt, also premiered.

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

516

NOSE

Rich orange citrus, dried fruits and robust cloves

PALATE

A complex balance of spicy cloves, tangy orange and raisins with rich wood.

FINISH

Strong, mature wood with spices.

STRENGTH

52.0% Vol.

COLOR

Rich Rosewood

TINT

47

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

49 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£2,000

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£2,200

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£178

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

100 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1954 | The Miss America pageant made its network TV debut on ABC; Miss California, Lee Ann Meriwether of San Francisco, was crowned the winner. In a different competition altogether, medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, finishing in 3 minutes
 59.4 seconds. Sun Myung Moon founded the Unification Church, known as the Moonies.

 

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

1902

NOSE

Dark, dried fruits (prunes) with robust resins with cloves, ginger and wood.

PALATE

Classic first fill sherry cask with dried fruit, clove-like spices and treacle toffee.

FINISH

Treacle toffee, cloves and prunes. A classic expression of a well-aged first fill, Spanish oak sherry cask.

STRENGTH

50.2% Vol.

COLOR

Rich Laburnum

TINT

77

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

47 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,675

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,800

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£155

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

366 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1955 | The timeless word game, 'Scrabble', was introduced. This was a classic
 year for Americana as the sock hop classic, "Rock Around the Clock", was 
released and topped the Billboard chart in the US. Ray Kroc bought out a hamburger franchise from the McDonald brothers and launched an empire of golden arches. Harland Sanders also began his Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise.

 

CASK TYPE

Hogshead

CASK No

1851

NOSE

Prunes, dates and figs with massive clove spice notes and wood.

PALATE

Dried fruits on the nose lightened with citrus orange and spices.

FINISH

Citrus orange and prunes with a well aged wood signature.

STRENGTH

45.9% Vol.

COLOR

Walnut

TINT

80

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

46 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,825

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,960

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£166

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

175 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1958 | In 1958, the world famous Hope diamond was donated to The Smithsonian. Also, the quintessential child's toy, LegoTM, was introduced.
The United States established NASA (the National Aeronautics and
 Space Administration) to coordinate its own efforts to reach space. America's first satellite was released this year. Both the computer modem and the laser were invented.

 

CASK TYPE

Butt

CASK No

2682

NOSE

Light fruits of apples, citrus and raisins with strong wood.

PALATE

Fruity and charred oak.

FINISH

Forward light fruits giving way to burning oak fires.

STRENGTH

53.7% Vol.

COLOR

Oak

TINT

22

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

43 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,525

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,640

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£144

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

100 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

1959 | One of the most famous dolls, Barbie, went on sale in 1959. A doll
 of a different sort, Marilyn Monroe, starred in 'Some Like it Hot' with 
Jack Lemmon. Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. Louis Leakey found the
skull of 'nutcracker man' in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, suggesting that human evolution began on the continent of Africa, not Asia.

CASK TYPE

Hogshead

CASK No

360

NOSE

Wood shavings and dried fruits with spice and light malted barley.

PALATE

Dry wood at first complexed with citrus and dried fruits.

FINISH

Spices and tannic oak.

STRENGTH

47.0% Vol.

COLOR

Rich Rosewood

TINT

47

YEAR BOTTLED

2002

AGE OF WHISKY

43 Years Old

 

DISTILLERY PRICE

 

BOTTLE SIZE 700ml

£1,375

BOTTLE SIZE 750ml

£1,480

BOTTLE SIZE 50ml

£134

TOTAL OUTTURN

 

199 Bottle Equivalents

 

 

 

  


Written by Jim Murray

 

The text is an excerpt from "The Definitive Guide to Buying Vintage Macallan" (pp. 56 - 67), First Edition, published 2003 by Macallan Distillery Ltd. 



Filling a bookshelf? We picked these for you.




ADVERTISEMENT



Leave a comment

Your comment would be reviewed and published shortly.