Whisky-news.com is a fully independent whisky website created in 2006 by a whisky enthusiast for the whisky enthusiasts, from novice to expert, with a huge collection of tasting notes, distillery presentations, whisky fair reports in Europe, reports about whisky from all over the world, and many more. It is also the leading site for whisky literature review. Updated almost daily and free from financial support from any whisky company.

Distillery in Focus:          Macallan
Region: Speyside
Name: Macallan Former names: Elchies, Macallan-Glenlivet
Status: Active
Website: www.themacallan.com
Telephone: 01340 872 280
Address: Craigellachie, Banffshire AB38 9RX
E-Mail: No
Visitor centre: Yes
Owner: Edrington Group
Established in 1824
Stills: 5 Wash and 10 Spirit stills in the new stillhouse and 2 Wash stills and 4 Spirit stills in the old stillhouse.
Percentage of single malts: 50%
Casks used for maturation: 75% Olosorso sherry for single malt and 25% sherry casks for blended whiskies. First fill only.

Contribute(d) to the following blends: "The Famous Grouse", "Cutty Sark", "J&B", "Chivas Regal", "Langs supreme", "Ballantines", and "Long John".

For tasted whiskies, click here

The Macallan Distillery

Regular Bottling:

Fine Oak:
8 YO, 40%
10 YO, 40%, replaced by the Macallan Gold in 2012.
12 YO, 40%
15 YO, 43%
17 YO, 43%
18 YO, 43%
21 YO, 43%
25 YO, 43%
30 YO, 43%

100% Sherry matured:
10 YO, 40%, replaced by the Macallan Gold in 2012.
12 YO, 40%
18 YO, 43%
25 YO, 43%
30 YO, 43%

In addition, several limited editions have been released other the years, including the Gran Reserva (1979-82), the Exceptional Single Cask (ESC), and travel series. This is complemented by the "Fine and Rare" collection, a range of vintages.

Some Macallan bottlings (from right to left): Macallan ESC, Macallan 10 YO (old), Macallan 12 YO (old), Macallan Gran Reserva 1979, Macallan 18 YO vintage 1981, and the 18 YO in the latest packaging.

Macallan distillery history:


Macallan distillery was founded in 1824 by Alexander Reid, the tenant farmer of Easter Elchies and was called the Elchies distillery. At his death in 1847, the lease was sold to James Priest and James Davidson, with the latter, a corn merchant, being the sole owner until 1868, when it was sold to James Stuart. Stuart realized that funds were needed to expend the distillery and went into partnership with Robert Dick and William, Grant, who later became two of the first directors of the Highland Distillers. In 1892, Stuart sold the distillery to Rodney Kemp. Rodney Kemp was a self-made man, with experience as wine merchant in Elgin and a former part-owner of the Talisker distillery.  He rebuilt the distillery, upped the production and changed the distillery name to "Macallan-Glenlivet". In the 1880s, during Barnard's visit, the distillery was recorded as "Macallan". At the death of Rodney in 1909, The Macallan Malt was becoming increasingly well-regarded amongst blenders. Between 1909 and 1946, the "Roderick Kemp's Trust" was founded by the descendents. At the end of the 1930s and during the Second World War (WWII), the Macallan was a peated whisky since peat was the only available fuel.1932-33 and 1943 were the only times when the distillery was not in production. In 1946, the Trust changed its reason to "R Kemp Macallan-Glenlivet Ltd" and became a public company in 1966. The distillery was rebuilt in the 1950s, including a new still house with two wash stills and three spirit stills, all with shell-in-tube condensers (instead of worm tubes, 1956/57), as well as new warehouses with one build every year. During this expansion, the floor malting operations were stopped. In 1965, the stills were increased from 6 to 12, to 18 in 1974 and to 21 in 1975. The production passed the 1 million proof gallons in 1970. In 1978, the 10 YO Macallan was launched. In 1974, the advertisement budget was £25 but passed £1 million in 1990. In December 1970, the distillery became "Macallan-Glenlivet distillery". The old still house was closed in 1970 but resumed operations in September 2008. When the old and new still houses were jointly operated, the whisky was stored in two enormous glass-lined cylindrical tanks before casking so any slight differences would be  evened out. In 1996, Highland Distillers associated with Suntory. Edrington took over Highland Distillers in 1999 and removed Macallan of public ownership in 2001. In March 2008, Edrington unveiled a £40 million investment to expand the Macallan distillery, by resuming production in the old still house, construction of 2 warehouses in 2008 and an additional 4 by 2018.

Easter Elchies House, the VIP center for the Macallan distillery Some of the stainless steel washbacks
The famous small stills The Blending Room

Source: Distillery visit,The Scotch Whisky Book by Tom Bruce-Gardyne, The Making of Scotch whisky by John R. Hume & Michael S. Moss, World book of Whisky, Brian Murphy, and The Scotch Whisky Distilleries by Misako Udo
©www.whisky-news.com 04Aug09.

Tasted whiskies (38):

Official/Original bottlings (OB)  
Macallan 10 YO Sherry, 40%, OB, B: 2006 Rating: 15/20
Macallan 10 YO 100 Proof, OB, 57%, B: 1980s Rating: 17/20
Macallan 12 YO Fine Oak, 43%, OB, B: 2006 Rating: 15/20
Macallan 12 YO Sherry, 43%, OB, B: 2006 Rating: 09/20
Macallan 18 YO Fine Oak, OB, 43% B: 2006 Rating: 17/20
Macallan 21 YO Triple Oak, OB, 43%, B:2016 Rating: 15/20
Macallan 25 YO Fine Oak, OB, 43% B: 2006 Rating: 13/20
Macallan 30 YO Sherry, OB, 43%, B: 2004 Rating: 18/20
Macallan 1938 Bloch Import for Switzerland Hand Written label, OB, 43%, B:1970s Rating: 19/20 
Macallan 1940, OB, 43%, B: 1981 Rating: 17/20
Macallan 1946, 56 YO, OB, 44.3%, B:2012, cask 46/3M Rating: 13/20
Macallan 1950, OB, 43%, B: 1980s. 75 cl Rating: 16/20
Macallan 1965 Glas Decanter, 25 YO, OB, 43% Rating: 18/20
Macallan 1966, 18 YO, OB, 43%, B: 1984 Rating: 18/20
Macallan ESC 1990, 14 YO, OB, 59.6%, B:2004, c. 24483 Rating: 19/20 
No Age Specified (NAS)  
Macallan Amber, OB, 40%, B: 2013 Rating: 11/20
Macallan Gold, OB, 40%, B: 2012 Rating: 11/20
Macallan Sienna, OB, 43%, B: 2013 Rating: 13/20
Macallan Rare Cask, OB, 43%, B:2015 Rating: 14/20
Macallan Rare Cask Black for Travel Retail, OB, 48%, B:2015 Rating: 12/20
Macallan Ruby, OB, 43%, B: 2013 Rating: 16/20


Independent bottlings (IB) and "anonymous Macallan ?"  
Macallan 1990, 14 YO, Adelphi, 53.9% Cask 10136 Rating; 17/20
"Macallan" 1964,18 YO, Avery's, 40%, D:1983 Rating: 06/20
Macallan 1989, 19 YO, Blackadder, 53.3%, B:2009 Rating: 13/20
Macallan 1991, 15 YO, Blackadder, 63.1%, B: 2007, Cask 21411, 232 b. Rating: 14/20
Cadenhead's (inlcuding Duthie's)  
Macallan 1979, Duthie's, 46%, B: 1993 Rating: 13/20
Douglas Laing  
Macallan 1977 Platinum, D. Laing, 50.3%, B: 2006, 185 b. Rating: 15/20
Macallan 1987 Rum finish OMC, 20 YO, D. Laing, 50%, B: 2007, Ref 3445 Rating: 13/20
Duncan Taylor  
Macallan 1968, Duncan Taylor, 50.94%, B: 2006. c. 5586 Rating: 15/20
Macallan 1969, 38 YO, Duncan Taylor, 40.4%, B: 2007 Rating: 12/20
Gordon, J&S  
Pride of Strathspey 1938 (Macallan), 48 YO, J&S Gordon, 40%. Rating: 15/20
Gordon & MacPhail Rating: 18/20
Macallan 1936, Gordon & MacPhail, 70 Proof Rating: 16/20
"Macallan" 1939, Gordon & MacPhail, 70 proof Rating: 05/20
Hart Brothers  
Macallan 1966, 35 YO, Hart Brothers, 45.1%, B: 2001. Rating: 18/20
Macallan 1967, 35 YO, Hart Brothers, 41.9% Rating: 13/20
Scott's selection  
Macallan 1973, Scott’s Selection, 47.0%, B:1999 Rating: 18/20
Single Malts of Scotland  
Macallan 1990, 17 YO, SMOS, 46%, B: 2007 Rating: 13/20
Macallan 1989, 13 YO, Strathblair Collection 2, 43% Rating: 14/20
Thomson, J.G.  
As we get it distilled at Macallan, 100 Proof, J.G. Thomson, 57.3%, B:1980s. Rating: 14/20