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The Red Collection: A Dream of Old

E600CA23-A5CF-4F30-BC0F-7E8B830451E0@2x Jun 03 2021 · 4 min read

Reflecting The Macallan's Exceptional History and Heritage

It is a deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship that has shaped The Macallan, from our origins to the present day.

This vision and dedication has shaped our practices for almost two centuries, and is realised in the release of our newest collection. The Red Collection is an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies, shaped by the actions of our founder Alexander Reid and key characters in our history, who have laid the foundations for our single malt today.

This collection celebrates the rich range of reds present naturally in every step of our process, it weaves its way through our history, and reflects our deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship. The Red Collection features a carefully curated selection of ongoing aged expressions and high aged guest releases.

The Heart of the Range

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 for years to come, and are the oldest ongoing expressions we have ever offered.

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 our history.

Distilled decades ago in our signature curiously small copper stills, each expression in The Red Collection has been matured in oak casks under the watchful eye of several generations of whisky makers. Over time, these exquisite single malt whiskies have slowly been shaped and influenced by the carefully selected wood to deliver extraordinarily elegant aged whiskies.

Creating the Whisky

Each of the ongoing releases in The Red Collection has been 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 our history. Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan, has signed the initial guest releases.

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.

Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan
RED Collection Portrait illustration full lineup

The Red Collection at Auction

An extremely rare set of The Red Collection with illustrated labels, signed by artist Javi Aznarez and the Whisky Makers, sold at auction at Sotheby's London on the 31st October.

The auction raised funds for food charity, City Harvest London, who distribute 80,000 meals a week to vulnerable people across the city using food industry surplus. The sale price of £756,400 equates to almost 2.5m meals being provided to people in need.

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A Deep History

Behind the Colour Red

The colour red has 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 means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair.

Almost a century later, in 1903, owner of The Macallan, 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 were transported in packaging featuring black ink.

And almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintage, a 40 Year Old single malt whisky. Allan Shiach, owner-operator of The Macallan at that time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.

Brought to Life Again

The three characters played a pivotal role in the history of The Macallan, and have been brought to life through an animated film created to introduce The Red Collection. We collaborated with celebrated Spanish painter and illustrator Javi Aznarez whose striking graphic art has featured in the Hollywood film 'The French Dispatch'- the latest release by respected director Wes Anderson. Aznarez's work was also instrumental in the storyboard development for the Hollywood film 'Greta' by director Neil Jordan in 2018.

The animation is set to music performed by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most influential classical artists of today.

Together these characters in the film 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. 

A Study in Red

The Macallan Red Collection