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Anecdotes of Ages Collection

Family Life and Work

In 1918, at the end of the First World War, Janet Harbinson became managing partner at The Macallan.

A Formidable Businesswoman..

One of the 13 original bottles, each unique label shares stories relating to our history, community, and natural landscape of The Macallan Estate. 

Janet Harbinson was a great gift to The Macallan. Her husband, Alexander, had died before the fighting of the First World War ceased; the future rested on her shoulders. She was to run the company for the next twenty years, but she was already exerting a positive influence, supporting and protecting the wives and widows of those workers who had left for battle.

Her instincts proved unfailingly prescient. In the turbulent 1920s, with crop failures, American Prohibition and a public in large part turning away from whisky, she resolved to let the business tick over quietly. 

Anecdotes of Ages Collection Family Life and Work Label Designed by Sir Peter Blake

The Story Behind the Label

In the label created by Sir Peter Blake for this 1967 bottling, Janet is joined by homely reminders of that interwar world. The rabbit is emblematic of the countryside she loved so much, although it would hardly have been welcomed in the vegetable garden. Her (not always reliable) Calthorpe motorcycle and the family’s Sunbeam motorcar stand proud against her home, its bleak granite brickwork arranged into a smile of a house.

The building is often described as ‘couthy, not grand’, a Scottish encapsulation of familiar and unstuffy qualities that could be applied equally to Janet Harbinson herself.

Correspondence written in her steady, elegant hand relays the stories of both her work in those challenging years.

Family life is also glimpsed with mentions of lunchtime walks with Wuggles, the family’s beloved dog.
The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection Family life and work Photo by Mary McCartney
Throughout her stewardship, run very much on family lines, one principle remained steadfast. She never let standards slip, nor the influence of European sherry oak be removed from the Distillery’s distinctive single malt.

Under the close guard of a chocolate Cocker Spaniel reminiscent of one owned by Janet Harbinson, the whisky in the bottle that Sir Peter has labelled, selected by Maker Sarah Burgess and in Mary McCartney’s photograph, is the product of a craft and care. One day, the rich flavour notes of fig, mango, sweet oak and hazelnut within this single malt will be savoured by a deeply fortunate individual, appreciative of all that is precious, just as Janet was.

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


Anecdotes of Ages Collection Family Life and Work Label Mood Shot bottle outside of box


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