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The Macallan Just Released a Smoky 73-Year-Old Whisky

Can you feel it coming? There’s something in the air, a shift in the wind, a slight change in pressure, and it can only mean one thing: The Macallan is releasing another ultra-aged, expensive, luxury single malt scotch whisky, Tales of The Macallan Volume II.

Tales of The Macallan Volume II was created to mark 200 years of whisky making at this Speyside distillery known for its single malts aged in sherry-seasoned oak casks. This new release is meant to pay tribute to the Macallan founder Alexander Reid and is the second edition of this ongoing series of high-end bottlings. the Macallan lead whisky maker Euan Kennedy selected a 1949 vintage for this release, which was bottled in 2022 making it more than 70 years old. Of course, that’s not the oldest or most expensive whisky the Macallan has ever released, as the distillery launched an 81-year-old in 2022 and last fall a 60-year-old bottle broke an auction record by selling for $2.7 million (that record was just surpassed by an Irish single malt, as we reported recently).

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Given its rarity and price, this is not a whisky we were able to sample, but Kennedy provided some tasting notes. “Displaying beautiful tones of bronzed oak, and subtle red hues that reflect the original meaning of Alexander Reid’s surname in Scots–The Red One–this rare and unique single malt whisky possesses an incredible complexity achieved through age and patient maturation,” he said in a statement. “Enjoying a lingering smokiness redolent of whiskies of Alexander’s time, it is a fitting tribute to his living legacy as we celebrate our 200th anniversary year.” That last remark refers to the fact that, while the Macallan does not produce smoky whisky today, it did use at least some peated malt back in the 1940s. A rep for the brand was not able to confirm whether this particular whisky was made using peated malt, but that certainly could be the case.

The whisky comes in a Lalique decanter that is housed inside an 800-page almanac designed by London-based bookbinders Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe and Zaehnsdorf. Each chapter tells the story of Alexander Reid and is accompanied by artwork from illustrator Andrew Davidson. The whisky was bottled at 44.8 percent ABV, and there is no color added. As you have already likely guessed, the price tag is up there—$89,000 to be exact. There are just 344 bottles available, which you can find at the Macallan Estate, the Macallan Boutiques, and specialty retailers, and interested parties can also email the Macallan at ClientServices@TheMacallan.com. If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, the entire lineup is available to purchase now from ReserveBar.

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