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Moments of Precision

The Macallan M Black Decanter: The Challenge of Time Distilled.

E600CA23-A5CF-4F30-BC0F-7E8B830451E0@2x Nov 01 2018 · 5 min read

There are certain moments in time when traditional notions of what is – and isn’t – possible need to be challenged. The origins of creating our M Black decanter is one of them.

There’s a lot to be said for time-honoured traditions and processes, they’re the foundation of celebrated craftsmanship and connoisseurship. Yet without a certain element of risk there would be no innovation and no capacity for growth and transformation.

Lalique signature engraving on The Macallan decanter
Rene Lalique portrait

When we partnered with legendary crystal makers Lalique and renowned creative director Fabien Baron to create The Macallan M Black decanter, we kept that convention-breaking, risk-taking spirit firmly in mind. The goal? To push the boundaries of what was possible with both crystal and traditional decanter design to create something truly exceptional.

With Baron having crafted identities for some of the most influential brands in the fashion and fragrance world and Lalique masters of their craft, the challenge was to create a decanter that not only embodied our distinct ethos and heritage, but used crystal in a unique and exciting way.

The decanter is completely unique in the world of decanters, very difficult to produce because of its shape and black colour. Lalique, masters of crystal, have relished applying their most complex skills to bring Fabien Baron’s creative vision to life in spectacular black crystal.

Silvio Denz, Chairman of Lalique

Baron’s design was ambitious and presented a significant task for Lalique, pushing their level of technical skill to an almost impossible level. Mouth-blown glass is a difficult craft to begin with, and creating a vessel with the angular, sharp-sided edges Baron envisaged was a fundamental challenge on multiple levels. Yet choosing to embrace this risk meant that the resulting decanters were that much more rewarding, as they embodied the peerless skill, dedication and mastery of these inimitable artists.


Representing absolute time distilled; all captured in flawless black crystal, the result is an unexpectedly deep black, geometric, slimline decanter with six distinct faces to represent The Macallan’s Six Pillars – the guiding principles that shape everything we do and define our character.

The challenge of black crystal

The calculated choice of black crystal presented challenges of its own– working with it is more complex and technically difficult than with manipulating clear crystal – but if anyone could overcome these obstacles it was Lalique, a company with a proud history of challenging convention.

René Lalique, who founded the company in 1888, is widely regarded as the inventor of modern jewellery and a master in the art of glassmaking. Over time, his name has become synonymous with luxury, excellence and a widely celebrated artistic style. We wanted to fuse Lalique’s expertise and craft with Baron’s expressive aesthetic alongside our own distinctive DNA to create a decanter that pushes the limits of what can be achieved creatively.

Lalique uphold an absolute adherence to quality and character of their pieces, and the choice of black crystal illustrates their ongoing persistence and commitment to pushing the boundaries of what nature and physics will allow– to the point of achieving what might be considered impossible.

Through an unwavering focus and commitment to the task at hand, they were able to create a limited number of decanters that contained a structural integrity and colour very difficult to achieve when working with red hot crystal. This in turn reflected the unique singularity of the rare whisky within, a spirit which embodies the centuries of obsession and commitment to our craft.

Each handcrafted decanter unites tradition with striking, uncompromising originality. It exudes beauty and integrity at every glance and with the colour comes a darkness and a sense of mystery. René Lalique knew the power of this unlikely alliance between darkness and transparency. The Macallan M Black decanter emits a captivating vision of contemporary black crystal with spectacular depth and character, taking the art of contemporary decanter making to a whole new level.

The M Black is a true work of art that raises the bar for whisky decanters around the world.

Geoff Kirk, Head of Brand Development – The Macallan

A single malt capturing time gone by, The Macallan M Black is crafted from a very limited number of casks.

It tells the story of exceptional cask ageing and the unwavering commitment taken to develop and mature our single malt whisky. This rare whisky is a testament to the custodians who have nurtured and guarded the casks and their precious contents for generations. It reflects the past of The Macallan and, through today’s masters, fully encapsulates the present. This is a new legacy, yet one that is firmly rooted in The Macallan’s deep history.


The Macallan M Black

Lustrous black crystal from Lalique was crafted to reflect the diverse history of The Macallan single malt – a striking complement to a subtly smoky Macallan

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