The Macallan Unveils The Red Collection With A Walk Down Memory Lane
Throughout The Macallan’s storied past, the colour red has played a significant and meaningful role. It starts with Alexander Reid, the Scotsman who founded The Macallan in 1824, whose surname denotes ‘the red one’; it then carried through to the distinctive red print that was splayed across cases of The Macallan Choice Old range to distinguish it from the brand’s existing whiskies, a decision made by owner Roderick Kemp in 1903. Nearly eight decades later, then-Chairman Allan Shiach used red ribbon to tie around bottles of what was then The Macallan’s oldest bottlings (1938, 1940 and 1950), in a nod to their rare and revered status. From these examples gleaned from the past, red is more than just a colour—it is an icon, and a common thread that links several of the most important milestones in The Macallan’s rich history.
Centuries later, the significance of this colour is seen once again in the release of The Red Collection, an exceptional range of distinguished and rare single malt whiskies including the remarkable 40 Year Old, 50 Year Old and 60 Years Old anchoring the line-up. These are the oldest ongoing expressions ever offered by The Macallan and are available only in limited quantities—a full set was recently auctioned by Sotheby’s in London in October 2020, which sold for £756,400 to an anonymous bidder, with proceeds going to benefit food charity City Harvest.
The collection will also be joined from time to time by special high-aged guest releases; the first set is complemented by The Macallan 71 Year Old, The Macallan 74 Year Old and The Macallan 78 Year Old, each among the world’s oldest and rarest whiskies and the latter two the oldest bottlings by the brand to date. Each of the ongoing releases in The Red Collection have been hand finished and signed by Master Whisky Maker Kirsteen Campbell, the first woman to occupy the role in its lengthy history; the initial releases were signed by Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan. “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,” Campbell says.”
This awe-inspiring legacy of some of the world’s most important whiskies is recounted in The Red Collection experience at K11 Musea, which takes visitors back in time through an immersive and evocative post-Victorian set-up that includes cobblestoned walkways, handsome dark wood furniture and dramatic oak trees resplendent with deep red autumnal leaves. Visitors will also witness the poignant work of Spanish painter and illustrator Javi Aznarez, who took the story of red and The Macallan to create a remarkable animated tale, one punctuated with a soaring score by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s pre-eminent classical artists.
“When customers come to The Red Collection, we want them to experience The Macallan on a brand new level,” says Patricia Byott, The Macallan’s brand ambassador. “We want them to delve into The Macallan’s past and understand that we are actually a brand with history and heritage." Whisky enthusiasts who arrive at the K11 Musea space will be transported to another era, as they make their way under handsome oak trees and down the cobblestone alleyway. VIP guests will have the opportunity to delve deeper, to enjoy a dram or two of rare The Macallan whiskies at the bar or within the expertly concealed private room where old oak barrels evoke the sense of being in the historic cellars of the brand.
“The Macallan, though her nearly 200 year history, has seen quite a lot, including two world wars—and has always come out fighting the other side,” says Byott. With many challenges facing the world in recent times, we can only imagine that it is this resilience—hard-earned through centuries of hard work—that will continue to see it through. It’s the result of the brand’s unwavering commitment to making the best whisky in the world using the best possible ingredients and, at The Macallan Red Collection Experience, the proof is in the taste.
Discover The Macallan Red Collection Experience at K11 Musea from now until 25 March 2021.
Shop 105, Level 1, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong