The Macallan has unveiled The Red Collection, a new range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies – coming to duty-free at airports in Dubai, London and Taiwan.

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.

As reported on Duty Free Hunter last month (see post) – 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.

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.

In Global Travel Retail a limited number of each of the releases will be available exclusively at The Macallan Boutiques in Dubai, London and Taiwan.

Jeremy Speirs, Regional Managing Director for Edrington Global Travel Retail, commented: “The Macallan Red Collection is a true landmark release for The Macallan – exactly the kind of exclusive and highly sought-after series for which our boutiques are the perfect showcase. We’ve worked closely with our partners at these locations to ensure that the amazing story of The Red Collection is brought to life both instore and online, allowing whisky connoisseurs and collectors around the world access to these incredible bottlings.”

Ben Odgers, General Manager at Le Clos, commented: “Our reputation as one of the go-to locations globally for The Macallan has been built on our ability to offer our customers unrivalled access to rare and exclusive bottlings combined with standout retail experiences and customer service. We’re delighted to offer our customers access to a release as limited and sought-after as The Red Collection and look forward to building on this excitement as the collection grows with future releases.”

David de Miguel, Global Category Head Liquor at Dufry, said: “In such a challenging time for travel retail it’s more important than ever before to bring innovation, excitement and exclusivity to our offer at Heathrow Airport. The Macallan Boutique at Terminal 5 has played host to a number of rare and exclusive bottlings, and The Red Collection builds on this legacy in stunning fashion.”

A spokesperson for Ever Rich commented: “Storytelling has underpinned our partnership with The Macallan and lies at the heart of this rich new collection. Major launches from iconic brands like The Macallan are a key factor in our ability to deliver fresh and engaging experiences to our customers and bring a sense of excitement not only to The Macallan Boutique but also our wider retail offer.”

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. A very small number of these cases has been made available in travel retail to select customers at The Macallan Boutiques.

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 a 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.

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 Red Collection will have an RRSP as follows:
The Macallan 40 Years Old – US$15,000 / £11,300
The Macallan 50 Years Old – US$50,000 / £37,500
The Macallan 60 Years Old – US$65,000 / £49,000
The Macallan 71 Years Old – US$78,000 / £58,500
The Macallan 74 Years Old – US$82,000 / £61,500
The Macallan 78 Years Old – US$87,000 / £65,500

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