The Macallan does an especially great job of hanging on to some of its older stock for as long as possible without compromising quality. Managing that fine balance, being able to predict when a whisky is at its peak of aging, is a special skill, and one that the Macallan seems to value even more than other distilleries. This latest addition to the Exceptional Single Cask range was distilled back in 1950 and put into a first fill sherry butt. The distiller’s notes— we haven’t had a sip yet of this incredibly rare $58,000 elixir—speak of peach and vanilla flavors, some orange zest and ginger, as well as antique oak with a trace of lingering peat.
While peat isn’t normally a character you’d find in a Macallan, back when this was distilled, peat was being used in drying the barley. It’s a wonderful marker of time and the difference history makes. The 1950s saw construction of new buildings at the Macallan estate, as well as the acquisition of more farmland and the property’s first long-haired, highland cows—an appropriate bookend to the opening of its new distillery and visitor’s center last year.
Hailing from a single cask as it does, this single malt is limited to just 336 bottles that will go up for sale in August. While the price tag seems steep, you can bet they will sell fast and will go for even larger sums on the secondary market.
The Exceptional Single Cask range was added to the brand’s portfolio in 2017. This new bottle joins seven bottles in the series that were released in 2017 and range in age from 12 to 22 years old. These whiskies are always cask strength, and the 2019 release is no different, coming in at a feisty 106.8 proof. It was bottled in September 2018.