As the first weekend of bidding for The Perfect Collection: Part One has drawn to a close, the lots which have received a high level of interest and activity are unsurprisingly from Speyside’s most illustrious distillery, The Macallan. It’s position as the “Rolls Royce” of single malts means that the whisky produced at this distillery is of premium quality, often with the prices to match such eminent luxury. Today, we thought it would be a good opportunity to delve into Mr. Gooding’s more accessible selection from this iconic distillery to give you a little inspiration if you are not sure where to begin in your quest for The Macallan.
If you are fanatic about the whirlwind flavours of fruit cake and sherry that a sip of The Macallan is storied for, The Perfect Collection is the perfect place to hunt down some exceptional examples of The Macallan to open and taste. After all, Mr. Gooding himself had a great joy for drinking whisky and is fondly remembered for regularly opening bottles in his 'Pub' to generously share with friends. A fantastic way to try some malts distilled at The Macallan distillery without having to sell off the family's silver is to go independent. Independent bottlings offer a great breadth of examples which are generally more reasonably priced and obtainable than their official bottled counterparts. For example, this 1975 vintage Macallan bottled by Chicago-based independent spirits distributor, Whyte and Whyte, is an interesting indy bottling at a spectacular price (at the time of writing this is sitting at £90 GBP in the live auction).
One of the most exciting pleasures when tasting whisky is discovering the breadth of styles and characters that can be produced from the same stills at one distillery. Comparative tastings are a fun exercise to not only explore different expressions but also develop your palate. If you have a classic bottle of Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak on your shelf at home an interesting comparison could be to try an expression from their Fine Oak series. The Fine Oak series was launched in 2004 and featured "triple matured" expressions, vatted from a combination of sherry seasoned European and American oak, and bourbon casks. A side by side comparison between a classically, sherry oak matured The Macallan and one that has influences from bourbon casks, could provide an interesting insight to changes in flavour and character achieved through cask selection.
Perhaps, browsing the lots in The Perfect Collection or watching our videos has inspired you to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Gooding and start your very own collection? We often get asked for advice from budding whisky collectors on what bottles they should be buying, and at fear of stating the obvious - top of the many collectors' lists is The Macallan. Taking a scroll through the list of The Macallan in The Perfect Collection: Part One, there are a number of rarities and collectibles to inspire the very start of your own whisky shelf.
The Fine and Rare Collection from The Macallan has undoubtedly issued some of the most collectible single malt whiskies on the market. These single malts are touted as the finest of The Macallan’s maturing stocks and are sought after by whisky collector’s around the globe. This extreme demand has seen prices for Fine and Rare vintages rise, however, a superb alternative to collecting these in standard format could be to start a Fine and Rare miniature collection. The Perfect Collection: Part One features 18 miniature Fine and Rare vintages which are a sure-fire start for an impressive whisky collection that would make your friends more than a little envious.
Another example of classic collectible The Macallan for beginners is The Macallan’s Decades series. This is a series of four whiskies that were produced to recreate the style of single malt produced by the distillery in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Start off with one bottle and challenge yourself to complete the full set of four whiskies.
As the industry takes a leap into non-age statement whiskies it could be an interesting time to look back at older age-statement releases from distilleries. For example, although the 18 year old is most synonymous with the Macallan brand, the short-lived 15 year old vintage is another sought after and highly regarded whisky. Only two vintages were ever bottled of this 15 year old, the 1984 and 1985, which are both featured in The Perfect Collection (the 1984 is featured in Part One). The limited nature of these bottlings has made them highly desirable and collectible.
Whether you want to expand your tasting library or own a collection of history from your favourite distillery, The Macallan is definitely the jack-of-all-trades in the world of whisky. The beauty of The Perfect Collection is that it has been crafted to showcase the staggering breadth and diversity that each distillery can offer. With every scroll of the auction, the more you can discover something new, intriguing and exciting that you have perhaps never seen before.