The Macallan has up the ante when it comes to rare whisky expressions with The Reach.
A rare 81-year-old Single Malt it reflects an extraordinary moment in time and exemplifies the enduring spirit that has been at the heart of the brand for almost 200 years.
A truly rare expression, The Reach marks the oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan. Crafted during the Second World War in a period of increasing hardship, The Reach was laid to rest in 1940 before The Macallan was compelled to close its doors for the first time in its history.
Now more than eight decades on, the very existence of this highly-rare and luxurious whisky, serves as a testament to the care and commitment to uncompromised excellence that has driven The Macallan since it was founded in 1824. Most importantly, it also pays tribute to those who strived amid great adversity to resume distilling The Macallan’s spirit, as well as the craftspeople today who continue to uphold the brand’s values.
A Truly Remarkable Spirit
A rare single malt at 81 Years Old, The Reach is crafted from a single, sherry seasoned oak cask. The dark, precious whisky is encased in an exquisite 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 precious whisky with the world.
“It is an honour to introduce The Reach. Created during a turbulent time in the world, this extraordinary expression showcases The Macallan’s history, ingenuity and unmistakable strength of character,” says Campbell. “The creation of many hands, The Reach has been a truly collaborative effort. It’s also a tribute to the people who made this precious whisky, and their enduring spirit which never wavered.”
According to Campbell, The Reach’s deep auburn hue is the first hint of this remarkable whisky’s astonishing depth. It offers notes of dark chocolate, sweet cinnamon, and aromatic peat, leading on to treacle toffee, crystalised ginger and charred pineapple. These notes come together, before giving way to an intensely rich, sweet, and smoky finish.
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 very special whisky.
Sculptor Saskia Robinson created the timeless sculpture featuring three hands, producing countless drawings from every perspective before working in a physical medium. The veins, nails and skin detail are recorded in extraordinary accuracy, modelled 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.
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.
As with any rare expression, whisky afficionados wanting to get their hands on this 81-year-old single malt will have to move swiftly — the Macallan has limited The Reach to just 288 decanters worldwide.
(Images: The Macallan)