The World’s Oldest Aged Single Malt Whisky Up for Auction

Whisky enthusiasts and collectors, brace yourselves. A decanter of the world’s oldest aged single malt whisky, distilled in Scotland during the tumultuous times of the Second World War, is set to go under the hammer this week. The highly anticipated auction has sparked considerable excitement, with The Macallan 81-year-old, “The Reach,” expected to fetch up to £160,000.

The Macallan Releases Its Oldest Single Malt Whisky

The Macallan 81-Year-Old “The Reach”

Distilled in 1940 in Speyside, “The Reach” hails from a single sherry-seasoned oak cask. This extraordinary Scotch, with an ABV of 41.6%, was released in an extremely limited edition of just 288 decanters. Each decanter is beautifully cradled by a bronze sculpture of three hands, crafted by the Scottish sculptor Saskia Robinson. 

The “extraordinarily rare” decanter is the highlight of The Grand Whisky Auction’s latest online sale. With an estimated value ranging between £125,000 and £160,000, bidding has already reached the lower end of this estimate, standing at £125,000 – a staggering equivalent of over £6,000 per dram. 

Beau Wallace, director at The Grand Whisky Auction, remarked on the significance of this whisky: “The Macallan 81-Year-Old, The Reach, is celebrated as the oldest whisky ever released by The Macallan. We at The Grand Whisky Auction are fortunate to encounter many vintage bottles, but few are as rare and spectacular as this – truly a work of art.”

A Legacy in Every Drop

Released in 2022, “The Reach” holds the title of the oldest aged whisky ever released by The Macallan, surpassing their 78-year-old expression from the limited edition “Red Collection” in 2020. This rare whisky was laid down in 1940, just before the distillery closed its doors for the first time.

The presentation of “The Reach” is as unique as its history. The decanter, mouth-blown and intricately designed, is cradled by a bronze sculpture of three hands. This piece was created to pay homage to three significant figures in The Macallan’s history. The decanter and sculpture are housed in a cabinet made from the wood of a fallen elm that is believed to have stood on The Macallan Estate in 1940.

The Macallan: A Symbol of Excellence

Approaching its 200th anniversary in 2024, The Macallan Distillery remains one of the most iconic distilleries globally. It has garnered a reputation for producing some of the most coveted whiskies among collectors. The Macallan’s enduring relationship with Spain’s sherry producers has cemented its status for creating exceptional malt whiskies, evident in both its core expressions and rarest releases.

Founded in 1824 by Alexander Reid, The Macallan Distillery is situated on the banks of the River Spey in the Scottish Highlands. It was one of the first Scottish distilleries to obtain a legal license. Using water from springs beneath its estate, The Macallan crafts its single malt whiskies using the smallest commercial stills in Speyside. This unique process ensures maximum copper contact, enriching the spirit with the distillery’s signature rich, fruity, and full-bodied flavours.

A Collector’s Dream

Released in February 2022, The Macallan 81-Year-Old “The Reach” is a celebration of the dedication and skill that went into its making. Each decanter, encapsulating a piece of history, is a collaboration of skilled artisans who brought this whisky to life. 

With only 288 decanters produced, “The Reach” is a rare gem for any serious collector. The beautifully presented book accompanying the decanter details the release and adds an extra layer of allure to this historic offering. It initially retailed for £92,000 per bottle, so the appreciation in just over two years is a sign for future auctions.

The auction closes on Wednesday, June 12 2024 so collectors will need to be quick to claim this remarkable piece of whisky history.

Read More: The Macallan 1926 Adami Sets World Record at Auction

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