We’ve been seeing red lately — in a good way.
The colour red symbolises love and passion. In many Asian cultures, red represents joy and good fortune. It is also a colour of celebration and ceremony: crimson carpets are used to welcome distinguished guests at ceremonial and formal occasions; seats in prestigious opera houses and theatres are swathed in the shade of burgundy; and Father Christmas wears a cosy, scarlet suit.
For The Macallan, the colour red carries a deeper significance. Its founder Alexander Reid’s last name translates to ‘the red one’ in old Scots, a moniker originally associated with those with auburn hair. In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp chose red print for the labels on the cases of The Macallan Choice Old range to distinguish them from existing whiskies, which were labelled in black. Nearly eight decades later, Allan Shiach, chairman of The Macallan at the time, gave its oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950, a luxe red ribbon to denote their age and value.
The Red Collection, The Macallan’s new, exquisite range of rare single malt Scotch whiskies, is a continuation of the scarlet thread that runs through the revered distillery’s history. Anchored by The Macallan 40 Years Old, The Macallan 50 Years Old and The Macallan 60 Years Old, the curated collection consists of the oldest ongoing expressions to be offered by the world’s most collected whisky brand. These special bottlings will be joined by even rarer high-aged guest releases, specifically The Macallan 71 Years Old, The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old. The last two are particularly momentous for the whisky world, given that they are the oldest releases ever made by the distillery.
Also of importance are the signatures imprinted on each bottle’s labels. Each of the ongoing releases in The Red Collection are signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who has been Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan since 2019 and is the first woman in the entire history of the brand to be appointed the role. Sarah Burgess, the brand’s Lead Whisky Maker, signed the initial guest releases.
Of course, the boxes that hold these exceptional bottles are just as precious. Created with the same sustainable European oak used for The Macallan’s exceptional oak casks, the individual vessels are lined with sustainably-sourced soft red leather from Bridge of Weir Leather, a Scottish upholstery specialist that works with luxury car brands around the world. There is also a bespoke, handcrafted case that can house the trio of ongoing or guest releases, made by Scottish artisan furniture and objet d’art manufacturer Method Design Studio. Together, the collection showcases The Macallan’s relentless pursuit of excellence as well as its legacy of craftsmanship, innovation and knowledge.
“Each precious drop offers a unique opportunity to explore The Macallan’s whisky making legacy,” says Master Whisky Maker Kirsteen Campbell. “The incredible elegance and rich flavours 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.”
To tell the stories behind The Red Collection, The Macallan has collaborated with Spanish painter and illustrator Javi Aznarez — whose work has been featured in several Hollywood films including Wes Anderson’s upcoming feature The French Dispatch — for an animated film featuring Reid, Kemp and Shiach, the distillery’s leading men. The artist also illustrated and signed a specially commissioned set of the collection, which was was recently sold at global auction for £756,400 (S$1.39 million).
Such prestige and scarcity are typically only accessible to a privileged few, but the full range is now exclusively showcased at The Macallan Experience at the Raffles Arcade, which has been extended by popular demand until May 9. The bottles, produced in painfully limited quantities, are also available for purchase at the multi-sensorial pop-up.
The Macallan Experience at #01-04 Raffles Hotel Singapore opens daily to the public from 11am to 9.30pm. For more information, visit themacallanexperience.com. Find out more about The Macallan Red Collection here.
(All images courtesy of The Macallan)