Cover Image: John Short

The exceptionally rare whisky is the oldest single malt ever bottled and released by the distillery

Throughout its nearly two centuries-long history in distilling the finest whisky, The Macallan has been a brand revered for the quality and innovation it epitomises. And the feted Scottish distillery’s recent limited edition release is a testament to this legacy: the exceptionally rare The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique—The Genesis Decanter is the oldest single malt ever bottled and released by the distillery. And as its name suggests, it honours a seminal moment, a new dawn in The Macallan story.

In fact, The Genesis Decanter, a bespoke crystal masterpiece handcrafted by Lalique, also takes its inspiration from the architectural marvel that is The Macallan’s new distillery and visitor experience centre. But what this truly remarkable release ultimately represents is the brand’s steadfast celebration of craftsmanship, and a synergistic collaboration of masters from across the fields of whisky, crystal, architecture and construction.

The mastery of making exceptional whisky has always been at the heart of The Macallan Estate, and its new distillery and visitor experience centre represents both a tribute to the traditions of its winning Speyside whisky as well as the future of the brand. It is the hope of the team that this new structure will help take the brand into the next century.

A marvel of contemporary architecture, the new distillery is designed by internationally acclaimed architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. It also embodies the care, passion and superior craftsmanship that goes into every drop of The Macallan whisky. Blending seamlessly into the natural surroundings of Speyside, the building is nearly invisible from the entrance—its undulating timber roof mimics the natural curves of the Scottish hillside, which is overgrown with grass.

Step into the sprawling futuristic interior and the massive array of distillation equipment hint at The Macallan’s drive and ambition. Opened last summer, this new facility allows the whisky maker to increase its production by approximately a third.

(Related: Tasting The Macallan's Oldest Bottled Whisky)

A whisky aged above 70 years is a marvel of achievement in itself. Distilled back in the 1940s, The Macallan 72 Years Old is a peerless spirit that began its journey to maturation during the optimistic post Second World War period. Statistically, it is extremely rare to have casks of whisky retain much liquid after half a century, given the natural process of evaporation that takes place during its long maturation that many like to refer to as the “angel share”. That The Macallan was able to bottle 600 decanters of this time-honoured expression is, in fact, a miracle.

Despite its years of maturation, this liquid gold has a deceptively light colour, which is another hint that this is not an ordinary single malt. To boot, an exquisite balance of strong, sweet oak with a delicate peaty disposition shapes its refined character. The whisky delivers surprise nuances of fruit aromas, such as refreshing citrus lemons and green apples, that are followed by distinctive hints of peat, soft vanilla and gentle wood spice, all the way through to the back of the mouth where it is finished off with a lingering hint of rich fruit and oak. 

To complement this exceptional nectar, renowned French glassmaker Lalique decided to personify the character of the new distillery in a unique crystal decanter. Marrying together modern techniques with traditional skills, each of The Macallan 72 Years Old decanter is handcrafted by master craftsmen who elevate the complex crystal-making process to create a stunning art piece. Not only does the shape of the decanter accentuate the brilliance of the golden whisky, its sensual curves evoke the clean lines and natural undulation of the new distillery’s unique roof structure.

The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique—The Genesis Decanter is aptly presented in a bespoke case designed by Burgess Studio. Similarly, the luxe wooden case and its curved wooden roof structure is inspired by the interior of the new distillery. Handcrafted from the finest materials by The Royal Warrant‑holding cabinet makers NEJ Stevenson, using only sustainably sourced timbers, the exterior is made with the highly-priced waterfall bubinga, while each bowl is carved from mahogany layered with light maple. Employing precise craftsmanship down to the details, drawer linings and fitments of the casing are hand-applied in pure suede and fabric, with latches and hinges in solid brass.

The Macallan Boutique @ 1855 | 01-24 Marina One S(018935)