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Anecdotes of Ages Collection

The Old Farm

When Alexander Reid was granted an official licence in 1824, his distillery brought a new dimension to the industrious community.

Cultivated in Community

Each unique label making up the Anecdotes of Ages Collection shares special stories relating to our history, community, and the beautiful natural landscape of The Macallan Estate. Early inhabitants of the Easter Elchies Estate turned their hands to crop farming at a time when techniques were primitive, transport links were poor, and famine was not unknown. 

‘You won’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes,’ suggests a familiar quotation. It is unlikely the author had the horse in mind. Nevertheless, a way to appreciate how farming was practiced at Easter Elchies would be to trudge the bridle paths and fields these animals traversed for centuries. For the farmhands, extreme tenacity was required to meet nature’s demands. Until the 1930s, the only horsepower here was literal. 

Anecdotes of Ages Collection The Old Farm Label Designed by Sir Peter Blake

The Story Behind the Label

Sir Peter Blake’s unique label pays tribute to this past, referencing the ancient farm, the workers and, especially, the horse.

Centre stage, the team on display are at once stoic and majestic. They could stand for the legions of horses that worked here, many of whom played their part as much by ferrying oak casks of whisky to riverboats and railways as they did by tilling the land. They deserve their pride of place on the bottle.

Changing Fortunes

When the official licence to distil was granted, Alexander Reid’s new distillery provided further industry to the surrounding community. Agriculture had long preceded the founding of the Estate in 1543. Farming was in the blood.

Through generations of accumulated experience, a thrifty intelligence took on the elements year after year. Oats, barley and root vegetables predominated, along with a little herding and shepherding. A self-sufficiency of provisions kept the wolf from the door in bad winters. Prolonged periods of famine were a greater challenge.
 
The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection The Old Farm photography by Mary McCartney
In Mary McCartney’s photo, some discreetly discarded horseshoes underpin that time in history. To a sharp eye, the gentle (and entirely natural) mist on the bottle’s shoulders is a more immediate reminder that farming at Easter Elchies continues whatever the weather.

As for the single malt within, distillation was first born as a consequence of the need to preserve. Grain that would otherwise have spoiled was preserved in a new – and unarguably improved - form. A little over fifty years since the 1967 spirit was distilled from exceptional barley and committed to its sherry seasoned oak cask, it would be hard, to the point of impossibility, to improve its historic perfection.

The Experience

  • Colour

    Caramelised peach

  • Nose

    Classic antique oak, dried fruit and fig combined with hints of pineapple and mango layered with a decadent chocolate strawberry note

  • Palate

    Warm chocolate with light nutmeg and ginger, oak spices and sweet oak opening into pineapple and coconut with an unexpected strawberry and hazelnut burst

  • Finish

    Complex with a medium to long finish of chocolate, sweet oak and lightly spiced peach

  • ABV

    46.7%

Anecdotes of Ages Collection The Old Farm Mood Shot of bottle

AN ARTISTIC PRESENTATION

The outer box for these special whiskies has been modelled on Sir Peter Blake’s own traditional art supply box, bringing together the world of art and whisky. A squirrel is laser etched on a removable panel, revealing a thumbnail photography collage documenting Sir Peter’s journey with The Macallan for the creation of this collection. 

On the side a sliding drawer features Sir Peter’s signature laser etched into the oak. Within is a leather bound book sustainably sourced in Scotland, revealing the 13 unique stories behind the full Anecdotes of Ages Collection.  

Anecdotes of Ages

Paying Homage to the Past

Anecdotes of Ages

In Collaboration with Sir Peter Blake