At an exclusive event in the Schlosshotel Grunewald in Berlin, The Macallan introduced its limited edition ‘The Reach,’ an unparalleled single malt whiskey reflecting a remarkable moment in the brand’s history. About 40 invited guests had the opportunity to experience this historical rarity up close.
‘The Reach’ was produced during the Second World War, a challenging and demanding time for everyone, and filled for maturation into barrels in 1940. This happened just before The Macallan was forced to close its doors for the first time in its history. The whiskey testifies to care and the pursuit of perfection, values that have driven The Macallan since its foundation in 1824.
The 81-year-old single malt, the oldest whiskey ever released by The Macallan, matured in a single ex-sherry cask, represents an absolute rarity. It is presented in an exquisite decanter made of mouth-blown hot glass, resting on a noble bronze sculpture. This sculpture, depicting three hands, was created by the sculptress Saskia Robinson and is reminiscent of different personalities and their unique stories within the history of The Macallan.
One of the hands reminds us of the distillery workers from 1940, who created this spirit under challenging times more than eight decades ago. The second stands for the hand of former CEO Allan Shiach, whose grandfather led the company when this remarkable spirit was first filled for storage in the cask. The third hand represents that of Master Whisky Maker Kirsteen Campbell, who carefully selected the 1940 cask for the production of ‘The Reach.’ This combination of liquid, glass, and bronze are all housed in a specially-designed wooden cabinet.
Campbell describes her work on The Reach as follows:
“To work on The Reach has most definitely been one of the highlights of my career – it’s hard to put into words how truly special this whisky is”.
The deep auburn-colored whiskey is described as having a nose of chocolate, sweet cinnamon, aromatic peat, plums, leather, pink grapefruit, redcurrant jelly, and a rich resinous note. The palate is of treacle toffee, bramble jam, licorice, crystallized ginger, nutmeg, charred pineapple, pecans, and woodsmoke. The finish is intensely rich, sweet, and smoky. Tying this all together, The Macallan created an original score for The Reach with the legendary Scottish post-rock band Mogwai. One bottle retails for around €110,000.
The event in Berlin was led by Brand Education Manager Sietse Offringa. International dancers, cast by the Stage Code Agency, performed a choreography conceived by Creative Director Kimberley Chaudron. The performance was intended to capture and express the emotions associated with the brand Macallan and The Reach.
A specially created three-course dinner corresponding with the nuanced flavors of the whiskeys allowed for a relaxed atmosphere for the esteemed guests. In addition to visually enjoying the ‘The Reach,’ guests could sample other whiskeys from The Macallan, including the Rare Cask Red 2022 and the Double Cask 18 Years 2022.
‘The Reach’ was recently acquired by a British private collector at a Sotheby’s auction for £300,000 (approximately €343,000), making it the oldest whiskey ever auctioned. In addition to bottle number 3 (of 288), the successful bidder also gets to visit the Macallan Estate for a tasting. The proceeds from the auction will go towards Macallan’s new Artisan Collective forum.