The Macallan unveiled The Red Collection at the opulent K11 Musea Arcade. The Red Collection is an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies which captures The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship. Guests attending the exclusive launch were able to immerse in a captivating experience that was reminiscent of the Victorian era. The polished space devoted to The Red Collection was sectioned into 4 areas; the Façade, The Alley Through Time, The Whisky Lounge and The Warehouse Number 7 Dining Room. Patricia Byott, Brand Ambassador for The Macallan Hong Kong, was also in attendance to reveal The Red Collection displayed in the Dining room.
Inspired by the significance of the colour red throughout the history of the brand, The Red Collection features a carefully curated selection of ongoing aged expressions and 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. These remarkable single malts, which will anchor the range, are the oldest ongoing expressions ever offered by The Macallan and will be available in limited quantities globally.
From time to time they will be joined by special 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 in the history of the brand.
Together they showcase the pursuit of uncompromised excellence for which The Macallan is renowned and reveal the legacy of craftsmanship, innovation and knowledge that sustains The Macallan to this day.
As a special prelude to its global introduction, an extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection was auctioned by Sotheby’s London with net proceeds donated to food charity, City Harvest, which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across
London. The Sotheby’s auction ran from 22 October to 31 October 2020 and the hammer price achieved for charity was a staggering £756,400.
Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s signature curiously small copper stills, each peerless expression in The Red Collection has been matured in The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks under the watchful eye of several generations of whisky makers. Over time, these astonishing single malt whiskies have slowly been shaped and influenced by the carefully selected casks to deliver extraordinarily elegant aged whiskies.
The colour red has a deep and long-standing significance for The Macallan. The red thread begins with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824. His surname Reid 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 of today.
Javi Aznarez said: “When a brand like The Macallan, which has been making whisky for nearly 200 years, asks you to draw red for them, to explain what red means to them, it’s quite a challenge. Alexander Reid – The Red, Allan Shiach, and Roderick Kemp are some of the people that have led The Macallan to excellence.
“What I like about The Macallan is that the colour of their whisky is natural. It’s the cask that, little by little, over time, paints this whisky.
“I think that The Macallan and I value time very much. I need plenty of time to do my drawings and they need years to achieve the excellence of this whisky.”
Each expression in The Red Collection is encased in an exquisite oak presentation box created from the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s exceptional 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 across the globe.
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. Based in Linlithgow, near Edinburgh, Method utilises traditional craftsmanship and skills to create one-off commissions for some of the world’s top luxury brands.
Each of the ongoing 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, the pinnacle of The Macallan’s portfolio.
“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 is available from select direct to consumer channels worldwide including The Macallan Estate Boutique and its global network of domestic and travel retail outlets since 15 October 2020.
Whisky Maker’s Notes:
The Macallan 40 Years Old
ABV : 48.1%
Colour : Antique gold
Aroma : Orange and grapefruit combining with dark chocolate. Antique oak and wood spices with fig and poached pear.
Palate : Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon with vanilla. An effervescence with malty notes and fig.
Finish : Long with delicate wisps of woodsmoke.
The Macallan 50 Years Old
ABV : 45.1%
Colour : Vintage oak
Aroma : Antique oak and soft leather, light floral notes, rich cocoa and black cherry and ginger.
Palate : Warming combination dried fruits and wood spices moving into dates and dark chocolate, orange oil and hints of sultanas.
Finish : Rich and complex with slight effervescent feel, with a long lasting finish of raisins, dates and crème brulee.
The Macallan 60 Years Old
ABV : 43.4%
Colour : Polished mahogany
Aroma : A combination of sweet and fruit notes on the nose; baked peach and pineapple with figs and dates. Orange with wisps of cocoa beans, and hints of leather merge creating a luxuriously resinous aroma.
Palate : Dry antique oak note and hints of ginger developing into tropical papaya and mango. The orange notes develop on the palate into a rich orange and lime marmalade flavour with bitter sweet combinations of cocoa, vanilla, and raisin.
Finish : A complex finish with lime, liquorice and dark chocolate.
The Macallan 71 Years Old
ABV : 41.6%
Colour : Burnished copper
Aroma : A sweet and spicy opening with wood spices, soft ginger, nutmeg and orange peel moving into rich vanilla reminiscent of a crème brulee. There are underlying notes of honeydew melon and fig.
Palate : The sweet and spicy characteristics continue on the palate with a sweet ginger sponge moving into the creamy vanilla flavours of a baked custard tart. Finally moving into a combination of lapsang souchong and treacle tart.
Finish : A medium finish rich in wood smoke, peach and hazelnut.
The Macallan 74 Years Old
ABV : 42.6%
Colour : Rose gold
Aroma : A wonderfully sweet and fruity combination. Rich baked plum combined with orange oil and vanilla. Rich antique pak envelopes the fruity and sweet combination and hints of rosemary are evident.
Palate : The aromatic peat is the first thing to appear and remains throughout the taste. In addition to the aromatic peat is a caramelized pear with toasted hazelnuts, moving into a rich clove and finally a cocoa dusted truffle. All whilst the aromatic peat remains steady.
Finish : A long dry peat rich finish with treacle toffee and light citrus.
The Macallan 78 Years Old
ABV : 42.2%
Colour : Sunset on the Spey
Aroma : A fresh fruit medley of apple, peach and grape moving into fresh lime and verbena. Antique oak and soft leather move quickly into a luxurious dark chocolate and dried fruit sensation. The dried fruits are a balance of dates and raisins. Finally, a rich inviting vanilla cake.
Palate : Warming oak spice of nutmeg and ginger open into the rich dried fruits of raisin, prune, date and a hint of almond nuttiness. The oak rich whisky is warming yet dry with powerful treacle toffee and baked apple sweetness.
Finish : A long thought provoking finish, all of the flavours from the nose and the taste make an appearance in this finish….Remarkable.
About The Macallan
Founded in 1824, The Macallan is renowned worldwide for its extraordinary single malt whiskies. Their outstanding quality and distinctive character reveal the uncompromised excellence pursued by The Macallan since it was established by Alexander Reid, on a plateau above the River Spey in north-east Scotland.
In 2018, The Macallan opened a new chapter in its history with the launch of its award-winning Speyside distillery. Designed by internationally acclaimed architects to promote sustainability, the building takes inspiration from the surrounding ancient Scottish hills. It stands nearby Easter Elchies House, the Highland Manor built in 1700 which is The Macallan’s spiritual home and remains the heartbeat of The Macallan’s beautiful 485-acre Estate.