The original distillery was founded back in 1824 when a license was granted to Alexander Reid in order to produce whisky under the name of Elchies Distillery..
It isn’t until 1892 when Roderick Kemp buys the distillery and re names it Macallan – Glenlivet that we start to recognise the Macallan name..
The name Macallan ’ is understood to be derived from two Gaelic words -‘Magh’ meaning a fertile piece of ground and ‘Ellan’, meaning ‘of St Fillan’, an Irish born monk who travelled widely in Scotland spreading Christianity during the eighth century.
The original distillery is now mothballed and sits in the shadow of a new state of the art building just waiting silently hoping to be released from its slumber..
The new distillery boasts a capacity of 15 million litres of alcohol per year coming from its 17 ton full Lauter mash tun, 21 stainless steel washbacks that each hold 68,000 litres and 36 stills ( yes 36 ) there are 12 wash stills and 24 spirit stills..
All this is very impressive and really does help to put the Macallan brand on top of its sector..
2020 Macallan Rare Cask
Casks.. European Sherry Butts
Nose.. An initial burst of dates, raisins and prunes in syrup come to mind before dark chocolate, candied orange and apple pie with cinnamon and lashings of vanilla custard come to the forefront..
Palate.. Again the dried fruits take centre stage with more dark chocolate, freshly grated orange peel bringing a little bitterness, rich toffee along with burnt caramel, tobacco leaf notes and toffee apples.
Finish.. Spices and oak
Thoughts.. Where do i start.. This whisky is nice, infact it is rather good but.. I dont often talk about price tags when reviewing unless i feel it needs to be mentioned, it needs mentioning here.. When you buy this whisky or any other Macallan you are paying for a name and not for the quality of the whisky !! Macallan has become a very successful brand and hats off to them for doing so, they market themselves as a real luxury item and aim their wares at those with money.. That said this does not stop anyone buying their products, its a matter of justifying it to ones self when what could be a whisky of any age costs £235 upwards..
This whisky as i said above is good though, and as much as i have slated Macallan in the past for the way they market and price their whiskies that is all im going to say on the matter today, Its your money, you decide if its worth it..
The whisky itself has like so many distilleries has been matured in casks specifically created for Macallan and seasoned to their exact specification.
Check out the videos for more information on this..
So many people talk about the fact the old casks from the bodega’s are no longer used and this is why the whiskies are no longer at the same spec and quality when in fact the casks were mostly transport casks, these were very similar to how things are today with casks that have been seasoned so in some aspects this myth is certainly debunked but the start fact of the matter in my opinion is that the whisky produced by Macallan from years past is certainly better than today’s offerings unless as suspected the whisky is far younger than we want it to be within these expressions..