Since its introduction in 2013, each release of the Macallan M series of single-malt whiskies has been bottled in handblown Lalique crystal decanters—after all, they are the perfect format to showcase the dramatically deeper and darker amber colours of these annual limited editions.
However, the new 750 mL Macallan M Black MMXVII, which was bottled in 2017 as the sixth in the ongoing Macallan M series, is strikingly different from past iterations in more ways than one. First and foremost, for the first time, each individually numbered, six-sided Lalique crystal decanter has been fashioned from high-grade black crystal.
Perhaps not so immediately apparent is the fact that the iconic, multifaceted M decanter’s design has been subtly influenced by the equally multifaceted talents of French-born, New York–based fashion designer and art visionary Fabien Baron. Indeed, the tall, slim dimensions and iconic geometric form of the decanter and its matching elongated box push the boundaries of traditional design.
The Macallan M Photo: Courtesy The Macallan/Ralph Dunning
“This decanter is completely unique and very difficult to produce because of its shape and black colour,” said Silvio Denz, Lalique’s chairman. “The Lalique masters of crystal have relished applying their most complex skills to bring Fabien Baron’s creative vision to life in spectacular black crystal.”
In turn, it was the rare black crystal that gave inspiration to the M Black name itself. And it is the luxurious, semi-matte black colour of the Lalique decanter that also reflects the slightly smoky undercurrents of the rich, resiny whisky inside. Although it carries no age statement, this single malt is a compilation of six sherry-seasoned oak casks—three butts and three hogsheads—some of which had contained peated malt. That no doubt accounts for the M’s uncharacteristic smokiness, which delicately intermingles with flavours of dark fruit, espresso, and wood spice.
In keeping with the tradition of other Macallan M limited editions, only 725 Macallan MMXVII black crystal decanters will be available worldwide, beginning in June 2018.