December 8 2020  |  Spirits & Tobacco

The Macallan introduces its Red Collection to GTR

By Laura Shirk

Capturing The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship, its new range of distinguished and rare single malt Scotch whiskies is inspired by the significance of the color red throughout the history of the brand

Reflecting its exceptional history and heritage, The Red Collection by The Macallan is inspired by the significance of the color red throughout the history of the brand. Featuring a selection of ongoing aged expressions and occasional high aged guest releases, The Macallan offers in GTR a limited number of each release, which will be available exclusively at The Macallan Boutique in Dubai, London and Taiwan.

At the heart of The Red Collection: The Macallan 40 YO, The Macallan 50 YO and The Macallan 60 YO, the oldest ongoing expressions offered by The Macallan. On rare occasion, these will be joined by high-aged guest releases, commencing with The Macallan 71 YO, The Macallan 74 YO and The Macallan 78 YO. These single malts are among the world’s oldest Scotch whiskies, with The Macallan 74 YO and The Macallan 78 YO, the oldest bottlings ever released by the brand.

“The Macallan Red Collection is a true landmark release for The Macallan – exactly the kind of exclusive and highly sought-after series for which our boutiques are the perfect showcase. We have worked closely with our partners at these locations to ensure that the incredible story of The Red Collection is brought to life both in-store and online, allowing whisky connoisseurs & collectors around the world access to these incredible bottlings,” says Jeremy Speirs, Regional Managing Director, Edrington GTR.

“In such a challenging time for travel retail it’s more important than ever before to bring innovation, excitement and exclusivity to our offer at Heathrow Airport. The Macallan Boutique at Terminal 5 [of Heathrow Airport] has played host to a number of rare and exclusive bottlings, and The Red Collection builds on this legacy in stunning fashion,” adds David de Miguel, Global Category Head, Liquor, Dufry.


Each of the permanent releases in The Red Collection has been hand finished and signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 and is the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand

A bespoke handcrafted case that houses the trio of ongoing or guest releases has also been developed by Scottish artisan furniture and objet d’art manufacturer, Method Design Studio, which supplies some of the world’s top luxury brands. A very small number of these cases has been made available in travel retail to select customers at The Macallan Boutiques.

Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s signature small copper stills and matured in oak by successive generations of whisky makers, The Red Collection is a testament to The Macallan’s commitment to craftsmanship. Over time, these single malt whiskies have slowly been shaped and influenced by the carefully selected casks to deliver extraordinarily elegant aged releases.

The color red has a long-standing significance for The Macallan, beginning with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824. His surname means “the red one” in Scots and was originally associated with red hair.

In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range, which was reportedly shipped in cases labelled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from The Macallan’s existing whiskies that featured black labelling.

Almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950. Allan Shiach, the chairman of The Macallan at this time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.

The three characters feature in a remarkable animated film created to introduce The Red Collection, in collaboration with celebrated Spanish painter and illustrator, Javi Aznarez. The Spanish creator is acclaimed for his striking graphic art that has featured in several Hollywood films. The animation is set to music recorded by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most influential classical artists.

Each of the permanent releases in The Red Collection has been hand finished and signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 and is the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand, which spans almost 200 years. Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker of The Macallan, has signed the initial guest releases.

“Created from some of the world’s oldest and rarest casks, it is an incredible privilege to have crafted The Red Collection.

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.

“Each precious drop offers a unique opportunity to explore The Macallan’s whisky making legacy. The incredible elegance and rich flavors of the expressions that form The Red Collection are a direct result of the craftsmanship, knowledge and skills nurtured by our master whisky makers, past and present," shares Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker, The Macallan.

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