The year 2018 has been scrawled firmly as a substantial entry into the history books at The Macallan archives with the opening of a sprawling work of art that is the new distillery. To complete its commemoration of the historic event, they’ve launched Edition No.4 along with the newest addition to the Masters of Photography collection.
With a green livery to match the new distillery, which is also depicted on the packing box, Edition 4 was developed under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Nick Savage. While Edition No.2 and No.3 featured collaboration with restauranteurs and perfumers, Edition No.4 is essentially a house party – and you’ve been invited.
What hasn’t changed, is the fact that the whisky is still driven by casks from reputable Spanish cooperages; namely, Tevasa, Jose Y Miguel Martin, Diego Martin Rosado and Vasyma. In keeping with the practice of transparency synonymous with the Edition series, Macallan has released a wealth of information for its latest release as well.
Edition No.4 features seven cask types, of which five are first-fill: European oak Tevasa hogshead chosen for notes of dried fruits and wood spices, European oak Tevasa butts and puncheons for root ginger, European oak Jose Y Miguel Martin butts for dried fruit dates, European Diego Martin Rosado butts for figs, and American oak Vasyma hogsheads for vanilla, toffee and butterscotch. The remaining two types are a mix of refill European and American oak hogsheads and refill European and American butts, both of which add notes of citrus into the mix.
What’s interesting is that Edition No.4 features a large proportion – about 40 per cent – of smaller, 250-litre hogsheads, which are by design, intended to inject rich flavours and aromas. The result is arguably the most vibrant whisky of the Edition series, packing quite a bit of punch above the moderate ABV of 48.4%.
It carries a recommended retail price of $190++ and is now available at The Macallan Boutique @ 1855 and selected retailers.
Whisky maker’s Notes: Edition No.4
Colour Burnished copper
Nose Bold and rounded honey with a sweet toffee apple note
Palate Nutmeg with wood spices and green cloves open up immediately, leaving a sweet and vanilla viscous mouth coating
Finish Fruity with oaky sweetness, long and lasting
And from one institution to the another, The Macallan’s seventh Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition features the work of the world’s most famous agency – Magnum Photos.
“They are the greatest collective of documentary photographers in the world and their partnership with The Macallan reflects our shared values of craftsmanship and commitment to excellence,” said Ken Grier, Creative Director for The Macallan.
As the landscape of The Macallan estate has been changed forever, who better than the world’s best storytellers behind a lens to document this monumental event from start to finish. Featuring some of the most the eminent lensmen in the world today – Steve McCurry, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Mark Power, Gueorgui Pinkhassov and Alec Soth – Macallan and Magnum ensured that the most nuanced aspects of this unique structure have been captured on film (beats saying SD card).
Tim Paton, Global Head of Commercial Assignments for Magnum Photos, adds: “This project has been a wonderful assignment for both the photographers and the Agency. To be given this amount of creative freedom on a commercial project is very rare. The photographers were literally shown the building site and told to shoot whatever they liked.”
The sprawling work commits to history the landscape and the materials from which the distillery was born, the character of the workers and protagonists who have brought it to fruition, artistic portraiture of people and casks, along with abstract representations of the one-of-a-kind distillery.
Apart from the collection of world-class photographs presented in a substantial photo book, the package also includes a selection of six signed prints from all the photographers and of course, a bottle of the Magnum Edition whisky. Fans of the Magnum studio will also recognise that the Magnum Edition box was influenced by the studio’s own portfolio boxes.
For this edition, Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess put together a combination of eight casks that have been picked to best represent the style of each of the featured Magnum photographers. McCurry’s bold and brave style has been honoured with a spicy, gingered profile; Parr’s oblique perspective is symbolised by a cask with a strong oak influence; Pellegrin’s cogent black and white photos have been captured with a classic Macallan with an intense black cherry note; Power’s work is often uncanny that two casks have been chosen instead; ex-European red wine is the only way to go to represent Pinkhassov’s contrasting and brightly coloured pieces; Soth’s heritage and adventurous spirit called upon a first-fill ex-bourbon barrel with citrus notes; the final cask, perhaps drawing parallels with Magnum, is an intensely sweet, classic Macallan – a reminder of a long-standing tradition of excellence.
The Macallan Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition is limited to 2,000 editions worldwide and will be priced at US$3,500. It is currently on show at The Macallan Boutique @ 1855.
Whisky Makers Notes: Magnum Edition
Colour Deep amber with rose gold hues
Nose Light hints of peat layered into warm spiced ginger with mellow oak notes. Gently coming behind these notes, are an almost tangerine citrus and caramelised apple
Palate Candied dried fruits and a butterscotch sweetness with a tickling of spice that moves into a honeyed nut note
Finish Medium to long finish ending in sweet earthy peat notes