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Macallan Malt Whisky Distillery History.
Established by Alexander Reid in 1824 when he obtained a license to operate on a small hill overlooking the River Spey in the village of Craigellachie.. The following year, Reid formed the Alexander Reid & Co., remaining head of the distillery, known as Macallan, until his death in 1847. His son, also named Alexander, who led the company until his own death in 1858, succeeded Reid.
In the meantime, on the death of his farther Alexander Reid took on James Davidson and James Shearer Priest as partners who both entered the company in 1848.
James Davidson, had made his fortune as a corn merchant, eventually emerged as sole proprietor of the distillery. Davidson was attributed with instituting a policy of purchasing only high-grade barley for use in distilling its whiskey, then known as The Craigellachie.
After Davidson's death in 1868, operation of the distillery was taken over by James Stuart under a tenant arrangement. James Stuart went on to own and operate a number of distilleries in the region, purchased the Macallan distillery outright in 1886. A prolonged recession brought Stuart into financial difficulties during the 1870s. Help came from an unexpected source, however.
In 1879, French vines were struck by the phylloxera pest, which destroyed most of the country's vineyard. For more than ten years, brandy remained unavailable in the United Kingdom, leading to a surge of interest in Scottish whisky.
Roderick Kemp became the new owner of the Macallan distillery in 1892. He renamed the company as R. Kemp Macallan-Glenlivet in order to emphasize its position in the by then world famous Glenlivet area.
Under his control Roderick Kemp then set to work rebuilding the Macallan distillery, improving the company's stills, adding new warehouse facilities, and other buildings. Kemp continued to make improvement through to the end of the century and expanding Macallan's production. Kemp also developed most of the company's quality standards, which included aging its whiskeys only in unbroken Spanish oak sherry casks.
Although Roderick Kemp died in 1909, the management of the distillery was taken over by The Roderick Kemp Trust. The Kemp family remained in control of the distillery until it was acquired by Highland Distillers Ltd in 1996
During the early 1960s there was a rise in interest for single malt whisky, and a slump in blended whiskey sales, this encouraged Macalla-Glenlivet to increase its whisky production. The company none the less maintained its commitment to its traditional distilling methods that included the use of small, handcrafted stills. So instead of converting to larger, industrial-sized stills, the company began adding new matching small stills, doubling the number of stills to 12 in 1965.
The company's further expansion plans required financial backing and In 1968, the company went public, a move meant to finance the laying down of stock for ageing, as well as to continue its building programme. Among the investors in the company were Highland Distillers, France's Remy Cointreau, and Japan's Suntory.
After changing its name to Macallan-Glenlivet in 1970, the company began construction of a new generation of stills, adding another six stills in 1974. The following year, the company added three more to reach a total of 21 stills.
In 1977.the Macallan distillery had already earned international recognition for its whisky. In order to capitalize on its growing reputation, the company decided to launch its first official, branded single malt, called The Macallan now recognised world wide as one of the finest Scotch whiskies ever. Only ever matured in ex sherry casks from Jerez Spain.
During the 1990s following a series of cross sharing agreements between Highland Distillers, France's Remy Cointreau, and Japan's Suntory. Highland Distillers became the major shareholder in Macallan- Glenlivit. Highland Distillers themselves became the object of takeover speculation and by the end of the decade the company agreed to be acquired by the Edrington Group,
The Macallan Distillery, Craigellachie, Banffshire AB38 9RX
Tel: +44 (0)1340 871471
Please contact the visitor centre to confirm before travelling
Macallan Distillery Visitor Centre Information
Contact +44 (0)1340 872280
Easter - October Mon-Sat 9:00am-6:00pm
November - Easter Mon-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm
Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings
12 Year Old, 15 Year Old, 18 Year Old, 25 Year Old, 30 Year Old,
Amber, Gold , Ruby, M, Sienna
10 Year Old, 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old, 17 Year Old,18 Year Old, 21 Year Old, 25 Year Old, 30 Year Old,
Rare Limited Editions
In Lalique Crystal Range 50, 55, 57, 60, 62, Year old.
64 year old in Laique cire perdue (0ne off Sold for $460,000)
Masters of Photography,
Elliot Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson, Rankin
Vintages 1926, 1937,1938, 1939, 1940, 1945, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952,
Travel Retail 1824 Collection
Whisky Makers Edition.
Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Older Discontinued Distillery Bottlings
Gold No Age Statement ,7 Year Old 10 Year Old,10 Year Old Cask Strength,12 Year Old Sherry Oak Elegancia ,40 Year Old, 50 Year Old
The Macallan 8 Year Old Fine Oak Makers Edition
Fine Oak Masters Edition
Other Vintages Collections
18 Year Old Vintages 1982, 1983, 1984
50 Year Old Millenium
55 Year Old Lalique II
1946 Select Reserve
1948 Select Reserve
1972 29 Year Old
Easter Elchies Selection
ESC IV 1990
Gran Reserva Aged 12 years, Vintages 1981, 1982
Travel Series 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s
Vintages 1955, 1958, 1959, 1964 to 1973, 1989
Woodlands Limited Edition
The Macallan Scotch Whisky
Distillery Style Tasting Notes
Nose: Sherry, honey, rich, fruitcake.
Palate: Heavy, rich and mouth coating. Sherry, honey, fruity, malty.
Finish: Long and rich.
Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillery Independent Bottlings
Douglas Laing -Old Malt Cask -Old & Rare - Platinum-Premier Barrel- Provenance and 60th Anniverary
Duncan Taylor- Collection - "Cask Strength" -NC2 Range and Whisky Galore
Golden Cask House of Macduff
Gordon & MacPhail - Speymalt Macallan- Station Series,
Kingsbury (Japan Import Sytem Co Ltd)
Mission (Murray McDavid),
NC2 (Duncan Taylor),
Norse Cask (Denmark)
Northern Light (Denmark)
Private Cellar (Scotts)
Scotts Selection (Speyside Distillers)
Un-Chill Filtered (Signatory).
Whisky Fair (Germany)
Wilson & Morgan.
Founded in 1824 by Alexander Reid
Location Speyside region Central district Aberlour.
Water source On site bore holes.
Macallan Scotch Whisky Distilling Equipment
Stainless steel mash tun
16 Stainless steel washbacks
5 Wash stills and 10 spirit stills
Matured in Spanish oak sherry casks
Also now some American oak bourbon casks.