Want to try Macallan’s 64-year-old single malt (the oldest the company has ever produced), but don’t have the six figures to buy one of the few bottles from which it was made? Try snagging a 100ml taste from the company, which is auctioning off sample-size bottles in advance of a single bottle in a special decanter.
The first 100ml bottle sold for $6,700, with proceeds going to charity:water, a global water conservation and cleanliness program. The sample auctions are now traversing the globe, with the big decanter sale due in November.
From the press release:
Iconic luxury brands The Macallan and Lalique have come together again on the 150th anniversary of Rene Lalique’s birth, building on their highly successful partnership to produce a one-of-a-kind decanter, created by the ancient “cire perdue” or “lost wax” method. This decanter will hold the oldest and rarest Macallan ever bottled by this highly regarded distillery. The Macallan in Lalique Cire Perdue decanter contains a 64 years old Macallan single malt whisky, destined for final auction by Sotheby’s on November 15, 2010 in New York. All of the proceeds of this remarkable piece will be donated to charity: water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. In an eight month traveling exhibit and fundraising journey, The Macallan in Lalique: Cire Perdue decanter will travel around the world from Paris to New York via Madrid, London, Moscow, Seoul, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.
The 64 years old Macallan has been vatted together from three casks, all built from sherry seasoned Spanish oak. The first was filled in 1942, the second in 1945 and the third in January 1946, from which the age of this great Macallan has been taken.
This Macallan is so rare for a couple of reasons; firstly The Macallan is widely recognized as one of the few single malts which can mature to a great age without losing its character to the powerful influence of Spanish oak maturation casks, seasoned with sherry, for which The Macallan is particularly well-known. The Macallan’s rich, oily spirit ensures the whisky achieves a balance and depth of aromas and flavours over many years in these casks, a balance often sought, but rarely achieved; secondly, this is the oldest Macallan ever released by the distillery in its 186 year history. Prior to the release of this 64 years old Macallan in the Cire Perdue decanter, the previous oldest Macallan released by the distillery was the 60 years old, distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986, of which only forty bottles were ever produced.
The decanter has been designed at Lalique’s Design Studio in Paris, based upon a ship’s decanter of the 1820’s, the decade in which The Macallan was founded, in 1824. Lalique’s designer felt the shape lent itself perfectly to the beautifully crafted panorama of The Macallan estate by the river Spey, in north east Scotland.
The decanter itself has been created by the lost wax process, an ancient practice originally developed to cast large pieces in bronze. After first modelling a piece in wax, it is covered with plaster and then sent to the oven to bake the clay while the wax melts. Finally, molten crystal is poured in the emptied shape. Up until 1930, Rene Lalique himself crafted glass pieces using the Cire Perdue technique, but abandoned it as arthritis increasingly affected his fingers.
Today, investing in the artistic and technical training of its artists to master again this extraordinary know-how, a new workshop has been created on the 150th anniversary of Rene Lalique’s birth in 1860, dedicated entirely to the ‘lost wax’ process, to make the first Cire Perdue pieces in eighty years, including The Macallan 64 years old in Lalique. Every piece is unique. Complex, time consuming and costly, the process is reserved for the ultimate pieces. The technique brings to light a fineness of detail never seen before and a unique texture that is likened to a « crystal skin, giving each piece a truly realistic and vivid aspect.
The Macallan is the most sought after of all single malt whiskies in the rare whiskies auction market; a 60 years old Macallan, distilled in 1926, sold for US$75,000 to a South Korean buyer in 2005. As the Cire Perdue decanter contains a 64 years old Macallan, the oldest and rarest ever released by the distillery, the extraordinary price for the 1926 is likely to be surpassed.