The latest addition to Macallan’s phenomenal Fine & Rare collection of single malts
Matured for 25 years in American oak Vasyma puncheon sherry seasoned in Jerez, Spain
Intense yet sweet, spicy and velvety
The most recent instalment into the liquid history of Speyside’s most prestigious single mal
The never-ending quest of whisky lovers to stock their cabinets full of fine single malts has, as is the way of supply and demand, made exquisite expressions ever more difficult to come across. It doesn’t stop the search however and the Macallan is firmly at the top of many a whisky wish list – to the point where their Lalique Legacy Collection which went for nearly a $1 million.
It’s a staggering price and one that puts their latest $10,000 into some kind of context, at least when it comes to single malts from this particular portion of Speyside. Still, that’s a hefty price for any single bottle of whisky; fortunately it’s called Fine & Rare for good reason.
As a collection, Fine & Rare isn’t just one of the finest Macallans, it’s come to represent the archetypal collector’s single malt. Just the name is enough to get many a whisky aficionado salivating, the prospect of a dram an event to be anticipated, savoured and remembered.
More important than any single whisky is what the collection represents. It was originally created to showcase the maturing stocks the distiller had hidden away in their cellars; it certainly did that, and then some.
It’s more than simply exceptional whiskies, but is a genuine liquid history of the house of Macallan. It’s also a living history and is one of the few vintage collections of single malts that’s still growing; it’s definitely the most prestigious. To show exactly how true that is, bear this in mind: last year the Macallan Fine & Rare bottlings from 1937 to 1990 were sold to a collector for US $500,000, the largest ever travel retail transaction.
The 25-year old continues that tradition. In 1991 Macallan filled a an American oak Vasyma puncheon sherry seasoned in Jerez, Spain with new make spirit and left it to mature. As is the wont of sherry casks, the whisky was infused over time with sweet hints of dried apple and figs along with baking spices – ginger, nutmeg and vanilla.
That said, this isn’t a whisky for the faint-hearted; the whisky is bottled at a natural cask strength of 49.4% ABV, making it an intense experience. Not that it will put off any drinkers of course; you’d expect anyone buying a whisky of this stature to have the kind of palate to appreciate its nuances in spite of that intensity, especially with its exceptional, velvety finish.
You can be sure the same collector that bought the majority of the collection will be adding the 1991 to his cellar and there shouldn’t be a shadow of a doubt that you should too. $10,000 may be a serious investment, but at the first sip you’ll know it’s worth the money.
Words by: Sam Kessler