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A Legacy in the Making: The Macallan 1926 60 Years Old

E600CA23-A5CF-4F30-BC0F-7E8B830451E0@2x Nov 15 2022 · 5 min read

Some records are meant to be broken. In 1926 when sherry seasoned cask no. 263 was filled with new-make Macallan spirit in Speyside, Scotland, few would have been able to mark the destiny of this particular single malt whisky. 

Sixty years later in 1986, The Macallan Whisky Mastery Team decided that this particular cask had matured long enough and divided the precious contents into just 40 bottles. 

macallan-1926 bottle-artwork with deer
macallan-1926 bottle-artwork with bird

Works of Art

To reflect the exclusive nature of this single malt, the guardians of The Macallan sought to present this whisky through very special partnerships. The first special release of 12 bottles featured a label designed by Sir Peter Blake, famously known for his design of the album cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and were released in 1989. 

A further 12 were artworked by Italian painter Valerio Adami, and released in 1993. Both these artists were early influencers in the Pop Art movement. These distinctive bottles are well known among whisky collectors and have come in and out of the public eye, drawing interest and appreciation as might befit their unique history and narrative.

In 1999, one of the remaining bottles was commissioned to be hand-painted by the Irish artist Michael Dillon. Featuring one of our foundational Six Pillars: Easter Elchies House, the bottle itself is an exquisite work of art. 

Last seen at Fortnum & Mason back in 2000, the bottle painted by Michael Dillon had been out of the public eye ever since, until resurfacing at the “Finest and Rarest Wines & Spirits” Christie’s Auction in London on 29 November 2018. The 1926 set a new world record of £1.2 million for a single bottle of whisky sold at auction, the first individual whisky to ever surpass £1 million. 

Then, in 2019 another 1926 single malt of the same cask, The Macallan Fine & Rare 1926, sold for a record-breaking £1.5 million at Sotheby’s in London. This whisky is truly a reflection of Janet “Nettie” Harbinson’s quiet dedication to doing the next right thing.   

Discover the Spirit of 1926
The Spirit of The Macallan - Nettie on a bicycle in front of whisky casks

This 1926 60 Years Old bottle of The Macallan, hand-painted by the Irish artist Michael Dillon is very rare, so it is exciting to see it come to market and establish another auction record for Single Malt Scotch. The Macallan is renowned for its quality and desirability, and the Christie’s auction marks a significant achievement for the brand.

Scott McCroskie, Managing Director, The Macallan

A Lasting Legacy

Presented in a custom wood case accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from The Macallan Whisky Maker, this one-of-a-kind, ultra rare single malt whisky holds a new record, and marks a new place in history.

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