The Macallan Distillery, which overlooks the legendary River Spey in North East Scotland, has been producing exceptional single malts since 1824 which are considered great classics. Its artisanal manufacturing methods, which have stood the test of time without aging, have something to do with it.
Known for its crystal-clear waters, the Spey River is the dream of discerning flyers – Atlantic salmon spawn in abundance there – and, above all, lovers of great whiskeys from all over the world. Because for centuries, Speyside, which bears the name of the river crisscrossing its green valley, has been intimately linked to the history of Scotch whiskey, which is, as we know, considered by enthusiasts to be the “real” whiskey.
A page of history
For centuries, the inhabitants of this region formerly known as Maghellan (from Gaelic magh, or fertile land, and Ellan, in reference to an influential monk) turned their surplus barley into whiskey during the long winter months. Artisanal production, often illicit to escape astronomical taxes, has long been common along the Spey. But that all changed when the Excise Act of 1823 legalized the distillation of whiskey. Just a year later, Alexander Reid founded the Macallan Distillery, one of the first in Scotland to legally obtain a license to operate. In doing so, the barley farmer, who also taught in his spare time, laid the foundations for a great distillery that would, over generations, produce some of the best single malts in the world.
From yesterday to today, a commitment to quality
To establish his distillery, Alexander Reid acquired eight acres of land on a plateau overlooking the River Spey, where the Easter Elchies House was located. This historic mansion is still and still at the heart of the estate, which today spans 485 acres. It is next to the brand new distillery, a true architectural masterpiece surmounted by an extraordinary curved green roof, which blends into nature and which constitutes one of the most complex wooden structures in the world.
The link between the past and the present? The constant quest for perfection, from the selection of the best quality barley grains to the application of traditional methods that have been proven for generations. Without forgetting an openness to the world: the exceptional quality of The Macallan whiskey is dependent not only on the Scottish terroir and know-how, but also on the essential contribution of sherry and American oak barrels from Spain and France. North America.
The six characteristics of whiskey
The Macallan The unique spirit and distinctiveness of the distillery’s single malts are based on the same founding principles since 1824, which bear witness to rigorous quality standards.
A historic estate
The site of the distillery, a natural park of great beauty which is open to visitors, is preserved and laid out with great care for the sake of environmental preservation. It is crossed by the Spey, and a ghillie serves as a guide for salmon fishermen! An iconic symbol, the Easter Elchies House, a superb typical Highland mansion built in 1700, is the cornerstone.
Surprisingly small stills
The 24 stills of the distillery are among the smallest in Speyside, and their size and unique shape favor contact with copper, which helps to concentrate the alcohol optimally. This peculiarity gives the single malt the rich, fruity and full-bodied flavors typical of The Macallan whiskeys.
A refined heating heart
To create the best single malt whiskey, the distillery selects extremely precisely the finest alcohol that comes out of its stills. A crucial step, one of the most rigorous in the industry, which makes it possible to retain the new make – or heating core – which, alone, will be put in barrels. This colorless and clear alcohol, titrating at just under 70% by volume, is the precursor of the whiskey to come. As it ages, it will give the optimum viscosity in the mouth and the characteristic fruity aromas of all The Macallan products.
Exceptional oak barrels
Custom-made to highly demanding criteria, the oak barrels in which The Macallan whiskeys age play a key role in developing their flavors, aromas and naturally amber color. It is for this reason that the distillery invests in the quality of its barrels and spends more than any other in supply, manufacture, impregnation and maintenance.
A rich and natural color
The Macallan whiskey’s color is 100% natural, which means it will not fade in daylight like artificially colored whiskeys. Here, the color of the whiskey results from the interaction of new make with the barrels maturing, and it comes in a variety of tones, from light oak to the darkest mahogany. The cellar master must show great skill to achieve consistent natural color from bottle to bottle.
Consistency and passion
A historic site, proven production methods, passion for the profession. Exceptional in all respects, The Macallan whiskeys are the result of unparalleled mastery and know-how.
Two great whiskeys to discover
A classic to drink with friends: The Macallan Double Cask 12 years old
A harmonious single malt with a warm character taken from the Double Cask range, which marries the classic style of Macallan with the inimitable sweetness of American oak. All round, this exceptional whiskey is perfectly balanced. $ 100.50 at the SAQ.
Aromas: caramel, candied orange, custard, freshly cut oak wood.
In mouth : honeyed texture, notes of spices, citrus, raisins and caramel.
Finale : warm notes of oak.
A limited edition coming soon: The Macallan A Night on Earth in Scotland
This remarkable single malt, to be enjoyed on a special occasion with loved ones, pays homage to New Year’s celebrations in Scotland. It comes in unique packaging, featuring drawings by Franco-Japanese illustrator Erica Dorn, whose works have featured in films by director Wes Anderson. His designs evoke in particular the Scottish tradition of first footing (first step). To bring good luck to the inhabitants of a house, the first visitor of the New Year should be a dark-haired person showing up with three offerings: shortbread cookies, charcoal to fuel the fire, and whiskey. Notice to interested parties! $ 175 at the SAQ.
Aromas: vanilla, butter, baked apples, plums and almonds.
In mouth : enveloping and velvety roundness reminiscent of shortbread cookies, notes of vanilla, lightly toasted marshmallow, dried orange peel, fig and cinnamon.
Finale : caramel and cookies straight out of the oven.
For information : themacallan.com/fr-ca
Since its founding by Alexander Reid in 1824, the Macallan Distillery has stood out with a constant quest for perfection. She produces some of the world’s greatest single malts in her estate in North East Scotland, the cornerstone of which is Easter Elchies House, a historic mansion built in 1700.
This content was produced by Le Devoir’s special publications team in collaboration with the advertiser. Le Devoir’s editorial team played no role in the production of this content.
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