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The Macallan - The Malt: Introduction by David Robertson; “The Definitive Guide To Buying Vintage Macallan”

David Robertson joined The Macallan in 1994 and at that time he was the youngest Distillery Manager in Scotland. In late 1999 he was awarded the prestigious honour of being chosen as "Industry Leader of the Year" by the well-regarded US publication, Malt Advocate Magazine. Appointed Master Distiller in 2000, David has helped to spread the gospel of The Macallan across the globe.

The Vintage Macallans on offer in this Guide have been selected from our extensive nineteenth century bottle archive dating back to 1841, from The Macallan distilled in the 1930's and bottled in the 1970's and, finally, from a selection of our very best casks at the peak of their maturation complexity from the Vintage years 1926 to 1972.

Working closely with The Macallan's other olfactory expert, Bob Dalgarno, Whisky Maker at the Macallan, we have jointly selected what we believe to be the widest, finest and rarest grouping of single malt whiskies ever produced.

In this, the first issue of The Guide, we are releasing stocks up to, and including, Vintage year 1972. Casks from 1973 to 1980 have been identified for future release and we will continue to monitor their development and release these whiskies to be bottled only when they are at their peak.

To add further interest to this new venture we have selected five nineteenth century bottles from our private cellars at Easter Elchies House. We have spent some seven years building our cellar, seeking out as many different examples of The Macallan's early liquid art as we could find.

This selection process has resulted in a collection running to some 140 bottles valued at just under £1,000,000. In every issue of The Guide we hope to beable to offer further, very rare, old Macallan bottles for auction and hope that our proposed bidding system through our website (see page 89) will excite even the most seasoned collector.


BOB DALGARNO | Whisky Maker, The Macallan


 DAVID ROBERTSON | Maker Distiller, The Macallan


The Macallan selected for this Guide has been carefully hand bottled at Easter Elchies without the use of chill filtration nor the addition of caramel. The bottling took place during early April this year (2002) and the bottles are lying unlabelled awaiting your order. On receipt of your order, your bottles will be hand labelled and despatched direct to you from Easter Elchies House.

We invite you to become a part of The Macallan's history by registering your bottles with us at the distillery. A bottle register has been created and sits in the heart of Easter Elchies House waiting for your registration (see page 29). We will complete the initial record, leaving a space for you to sign the register when you next visit the distillery.

We will continue to seek out and introduce stocks in the future that we, at The Macallan, believe offer the exact- ing quality you desire. These will be sourced from our maturing stocks and private collections. Additionally, we will continue to monitor those casks from 1972 and older that have not been selected this time in the hope that a select few, after further maturation, may reach a level of complexity that renders them worthy of inclusion in future editions of he Guide, along with further archive bottles for your consideration.


We will continue to seek out and introduce stocks in the future that we, at The Macallan, believe offer the exacting quality you desire.


In summary, we are immensely proud to be able to offer for your consideration the finest aged range of whiskies from a single malt distillery ever undertaken and hope that you will enjoy perusing the Guide to find the bottles that inspire you. It is our hope that you will enjoy contemplating their unique flavours and take comfort from the knowledge that you are one of the fortunate few to be able to own and taste these rarest of whiskies. We are confident that there is something here, in this Guide, for both connoisseur and collector alike.


DAVID ROBERTSON I Master Distiller, The Macallan


Written by David Robertson


The text is an excerpt from "The Definitive Guide to Buying Vintage Macallan" (pp. 23 - 25), First Edition, published 2003 by Macallan Distillery Ltd.