An obsession with quality has been the hallmark of The Macallan since its founding by Alexander Reid on a plateau above the river Spey in north-east Scotland. The distillery is surrounded by a 485 acre estate with Easter Elchies House at its heart.
The Macallan was one of the first distillers in Scotland to be legally licensed. Since then we have built a reputation as one of the world’s leading single malt whiskies. The creation of The Macallan draws on the vital contributing influences of Spain, North America and Scotland - and of their respective natural raw materials, combined with traditional methods and craftsmanship.
The Macallan distillery was founded by Alexander Reid, a barley farmer and school teacher. The original name of the area was “Maghellan”, taken from the Gallic word “magh”, meaning fertile ground and “Ellan”, from the Monk St.Fillan - who held a close association with the church that stood in the grounds of The Macallan Estate until 1400. Farmers had been making whisky on their Speyside farms in the area for centuries, using their surplus barley during the quieter winter months.
The reputation of The Macallan is built on a product of outstanding quality and distinctive character, founded upon a set of guiding principles. From place to process, people and passion, the Six Pillars are the backdrop to The Macallan's unique spirit.
Our reputation for the extraordinary is characterised by the exceptional oak casks for which The Macallan is renowned. Sourced, crafted, toasted and seasoned under the watchful eye of The Macallan Master of Wood, the hand-picked casks are delivered to the demanding specifications of The Macallan Whisky Mastery Team. For every expression of The Macallan, the quality of the whisky is largely dependent on the quality of the oak casks it is matured in, as well as the quality of our 'new make' spirit distilled from water, yeast and barley. With up to 80% of The Macallan’s final character and flavour determined by cask quality, the oak cask is the most prominent factor in ensuring and delivering the quality and style of our single malt.
All of our whiskies take 100% of their colour from the wood in which they are matured. As wood is a natural product, each tree is different and in turn, imparts different flavours and colours to the whisky during maturation. The skill of the whisky makers ensures colour is as consistent as possible from bottling to bottling, through the management and selection of the casks which provide the spectrum of natural colour essential to The Macallan single malt.
The Macallan works closely with fully integrated ‘tree to finished seasoned cask’ companies in Spain; to identify the oak trees in the forests of northern Spain, fell the trees, saw and air dry the oak staves before shipping them to the south for further air-drying to reduce the moisture even more. The casks are then seasoned for 18 months before making the journey to Scotland where they are filled with The Macallan ‘new make’ spirit.