Robb Recommends: The Macallan Red

Father’s Day gift options that keep on giving whichever price bracket you choose.

With Father’s Day coming up soon (Sunday 20th June in case you’d forgotten), there’s just about time to snap up a very rare bottle of the world’s most collected single malt for the whisky lover in your life. And which fan of Scotland’s finest wouldn’t appreciate something from Macallan’s Red Collection, an exquisite range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies inspired by the significance of the colour red throughout the history of the brand?

But which to choose? Perhaps the ‘entry level’ Macallan 40 Years Old (£11,300) would appeal but a very special Dad surely deserves the pinnacle of the collection, the extra-aged ‘guest release’ Macallan 78 Years Old. This incredibly rare single malt is among the world’s oldest Scotch whiskies, and the oldest bottling ever released in the history of the brand.  If you can track one down, expect to part with at least £65,500.

Other tantalising possibilities are presented by bottlings at 50, 60, 71 and 74 years of age (see main pic – prices range from £37,500 to over £60,000), and The Red Collection is available from Harrods, The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and other selected specialist retailers).

High though those prices may seem, in recent years rare expressions of The Macallan have proved a shrewd and potentially profitable buy. Those fortunate owners able to resist opening their bottle have seen soaring prices, reflecting global demand at auction from keen collectors and a growing international investment community, a trend that seems set to continue.

Prior to handing over your gift, some very special wrapping paper will be required: The Red Collection comes in an exquisite oak presentation box created from the same European oak used to craft The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks. The boxes are beautifully upholstered with sustainably sourced soft red leather from Bridge of Weir Leather, supplier of upholstery to leading luxury car brands.

Each of the ongoing releases (40, 50 and 60 years old) in The Red Collection has been hand-finished and 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 the 200-year history of the brand. Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan, has signed the initial guest releases.

“It’s thanks to the foresight of previous custodians of The Macallan, who laid down and aged these extraordinary casks, that we have been able to curate such a remarkable selection of whiskies,” says Campbell.

“Each precious drop offers a unique opportunity to explore The Macallan’s whisky making legacy. The incredible elegance and rich flavours of the expressions that form The Red Collection are a direct result of the craftsmanship, knowledge and skills nurtured by our master whisky makers, past and present.”

If, however, the fortunate Father would like to open and share his bottle there is a more immediately affordable option available in the form of The Macallan’s latest Estate release, distilled in part with barley grown at Easter Elchies estate, the iconic home of the world-famous whisky. For the brand’s many aficionados this is a rare opportunity to experience a single malt containing spirit made from its own home-grown barley, which is distilled just once a year over the course of a single week, and which previously was limited to the most exclusive releases.

The Macallan Estate is presented in an elegant gift box featuring landscape-inspired designs and reflecting the natural stones found on the estate, with an inlay of slate. Inside, aerial photography showcases the estate’s impressive barley fields on the banks of the Spey. Priced at a comparatively modest £195, it’s available now from most good whisky specialists, such as Master of Malt.  Note that to deter speculators, purchasers are limited to one bottle only.

Quite right too, because this is definitely a whisky for drinking. Its richly enticing chestnut colour is reminiscent of a pair of hand-crafted English brogues and the perfect introduction to a classic Macallan – wood notes mingle with sweet orange marmalade, rich sherry hints and spices that cling on for a sustained finish.

Lucky Dad!  Happy Dad!

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