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Anecdotes of Ages Collection

The Giant and the Fish

Roderick Kemp’s importance to The Macallan can hardly be overstated. The inspirational owner from 1892 until 1909, his impact upon the Distillery and the quality of the whisky itself was immense. His influence still resonates.

On the Banks of the River Spey..

Each unique label of the 13 original bottles details stories relating to The Macallan’s history, community, and the beautiful The Macallan Estate. The label created by Sir Peter Blake centres on a fish, and the River Spey forms a peaceful backdrop. On its banks, the youthful Roderick Kemp once saw fit to gift his catch to some neighbouring anglers with nothing to show for their day’s fishing. 

One of them, a wine merchant, recognised his young benefactor when the boy arrived months later to be interviewed for an apprenticeship. That act of generosity helped secure Kemp’s post. He absorbed everything he could of the world of wine, knowledge put to great use when he took over at the Easter Elchies Estate.

Anecdotes of Ages Collection The Giant and the Fish Label Designed by Sir Peter Blake

The Story Behind the Label

Thoughtful and considerate, Kemp also had a keen eye for commercial opportunity. Made aware that the Earl of Elgin, shooting on a nearby grouse moor, had just been appointed Viceroy of India, he sent some ‘real old Macallan’ immediately, an exemplar of early influencer marketing

The real – and rare - whisky in this bottle is just over fifty years old, the same age as Kemp when he took the reins at the Distillery. It has a depth and maturity to match his. Lead Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess’ choice of whisky is fully rounded, with sherried-oak notes that, as in the 1890s, add a chord of tastes that are deep, complex and compelling.
The Macallan Anecdotes of Ages Collection The Giant and the Fish Photo by Mary McCartney

Guardians of the River

We know that Roderick Kemp enjoyed fishing and can assume that he would be delighted that The Macallan is the sole Distillery in Scotland to own its riverbank, with its own Ghillie as its guardian.

The label of this bottle is completed with a present-day angler in Sir Peter’s composition. Photographed by Mary McCartney in a setting by the River Spey, there could seldom be a more rounded bottle of whisky, nor a more appropriate way to present it.

Sherry seasoned oak casks are a signature of The Macallan’s identity.

Their contribution to the whisky’s distinctive flavour profile is just one of Roderick Kemp’s legacies.

To this day, The Macallan insists on the best European oak, proud of enduring relationships with growers fully committed to sustainable forestry.

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 The Giant and the Fish Label Mood Shot


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