The Macallan Releases 81-Year-Old The Reach, Its Oldest Whisky to Date


February 9, 2022

The Macallan has unveiled The Reach, the oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan, created from a single, sherry seasoned oak cask.

The Reach, a rare 81 Years Old single malt, was crafted during the Second World War in a period of increasing hardship, and was laid to rest in 1940 before The Macallan was compelled to close its doors for the first time in its history. 

The dark whisky is encased in a decanter created from mouth-blown, hot glass, cradled on a bronze sculpture of three hands. Each hand represents characters in The Macallan’s history and their unique story.

One commemorates the Distillery workers of 1940 who crafted the spirit into existence, in challenging times, over eight decades ago. Another is the hand of one-time chairman, Allan Shiach, whose grandfather headed the company when this remarkable spirit was first consigned to its cask. The third is that of today’s Master Whisky Maker, Kirsteen Campbell, who carefully selected the 1940 cask used to create The Reach, deciding that now was the time to share this whisky with the world.

Sculptor Saskia Robinson created the sculpture, producing countless drawings from every perspective before working in a physical medium. The veins, nails and skin detail are recorded in extraordinary accuracy, modeled on an artist’s impression of a hand of one of those original stillmen. The sculpture is cast in bronze and the glimmer of the metal contrasts beautifully with the dark amber whisky. 

Reflecting its rarity and significance, The Reach is presented in unique packaging brought together by a collective of Scottish artisans. A tale of collaboration and connectivity, the result is a handcrafted quartet of liquid, glass, bronze and wood that is a fitting tribute to this whisky.

The surface of the glass decanter features subtle indentations that match the fingerprints of the bronze hands which support it, while a beautiful cabinet crafted using wood from a fallen elm tree, which is thought to have been on The Macallan Estate in 1940, houses the decanter.

A film has been created by renowned London-based photographer Nadav Kander working closely with his art director, Matt Willey, who was previously the art director at The New York Times Magazine. Featuring original music composed and recorded by Scottish band Mogwai, recently shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Prize, it tells the story of The Macallan’s legacy and the collaborative process behind The Reach. 

The Reach will be highly limited to only 288 decanters worldwide for an SRP of $125,000. It will be on display at The Macallan Estate Boutique starting February 9th, 2022, and later in The Macallan domestic and travel retail Boutiques. 

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