Macallan is a brand of Speyside Scotch whiskey made by the Macallan distillery. The roots of the distillery date back to 1543, when Duncan Grant was given the lands known as Easter Ellochy by the Bishop of Moray. He built a house there. In 1700, Captain John Grant had the Easter Elchies House built on the site. His son, Patrick, was ennobled as Lord Elchies in 1732. His son (also named John) sold the house to the Earl of Seafield and Findlater.
The distillery itself was founded in 1824 by Alexander Reid, a local farmer who leased the house and eight acres of land from the Earl of Seafield. He named the distillery Macallan, after a nearby church. By 1847, the ownership had passed to James Priest and James Davidson, and in 1852, Davidson assumed sole ownership. In 1857, the house was expanded by 29 rooms, forming a T shape.
In 1868, James Stuart bought the distillery, and by 1886, he had purchased the lands from the Seafields. In 1892, a man named Roderick Kemp bought Macallan, and began to export the Scotch abroad. When he died in 1902, a trust was formed to manage the distillery.
By the 1960's, Macallan had risen to prominence worldwide, and yet the Easter Elchies house had fallen into disrepair. In 1961, the distillery bought the house and the Seafield Estate, and in 1965, the trust formed by Roderick Kemp was transformed into a private company called R. Kemp Macallan-Glenlivet.
The Easter Elchies House underwent massive renovations beginning in 1978, and finishing in 1985. In 1996, Highland Distillers PLC bought Macallan. A majority of the shares were bought in 1999 by the Edrington Group, with Suntory (the Japanese brewer) as a minority owner. In 2008, the distillery reopened its second production house, which had been mothballed in the 1970s as demand slackened.
Today, The Macallan has a new Visitors Center, and has refurbished the grounds and the house to receive visitors from all over the world. Macallan makes a large number of Scotches, grouped together into six groups:
Sherry Oak includes a 10 year and a 10 at cask strength, then 12, 18 and 25 year old expressions. These are all aged in casks that have previously held Oloroso Sherry. The 12 is the workhorse of the Macallan line. Bottled at 86 proof, it is a moderate amber-gold color with aromas and flavors of dried fruits, honey, citrus and cocoa.
Fine Oak includes 10, 12, 15, 17 and 18 year old expressions. These are aged in a blend of casks that previously held Oloroso Sherry and Bourbon.
The 1824 Collection is made up of Select Oak, a Whisky Maker's Edition, Estate Reserve, Limited Edition, and Oscuro. They are sold in Duty Free shops around the world.
The Masters of Photography range includes a Rankin Edition of 30 year old Macallan and a Watson Edition of 20 year old Sherry cask Macallan. These are released in very limited quantities.
The Fine and Rare line is made up of single cask, vintage dated releases going back to a sixty year old 1926.
Finally, the Lalique Collection is made up of four releases, all bottled in a custom designed Lalique decanter. They are 50, 55, 57 and 60 year old Scotches.
Some popular cocktails containing Macallan 12
- Tooth & Nail — Speyside Scotch, Drambuie, Cynar, Amer Picon, Bitters
- Peanut Malt Flip — Scotch, Egg yolk, Cream, Simple syrup, Peanut butter, Nutmeg
- Sin Cyn — Speyside Scotch, Cynar, Sweet vermouth, Orange peel
- Someone Else — Scotch, Dry vermouth, Cynar, Apricot liqueur