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The Macallan

In 1824, the Macallan distillery was licensed to Alexander Reid, but under a different name; it started life as Elchies Distillery. Macallan sits in close proximity to a ford across the river Spey, the site originally held a farm distillery, which was frequented by cattle drovers crossing the ford. The distillery was expanded toward the end of the nineteenth century and renamed Macallan-Glenlivet and in 1980 the 'Glenlivet' suffix was removed.

From the 1950s onwards, Macallan has been greatly extended; in 1965 it doubled its stills to twelve, then to eighteen in 1974 and in 1975, it further increased them to number twenty-one. This was down to great demand, for Macallan had become very sought after. Old vintages are highly prized and very valuable.

Roderick Kemp acquired the distillery in 1892 and set up a family trust. In 1968, Macallan-Glenlivet was traded on the London Stock Exchange. The name is a conjunction of ‘Magh’, Gaelic for a fertile piece of land, and ‘Ellan’, or ‘Of St Fillan’. St Fillan was an Irish Monk who travelled through Scotland during the 700s, promoting Christianity.

In 1986, the Japanese company Suntory bought out a quarter of the stocks and a decade later, Highland Distillers bought out the remaining stocks, ending the Kemp family interests. The Macallan has largely used Sherry casks for the maturation of their whisky. A very characteristic Speysider, Macallan recently brought out a range of Fine Oak casks which were Bourbon-matured and an eighteen year-old from this range, took first place in Whisky Magazine’s “Best Malts of the World”.

The Macallan Whisky Distillery

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About The Macallan Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01340 871471

Distillery Founded


Distillery Capacity

8 000 000 litres

Distillery Status


Distillery Address

Craigellachie, Moray

Distillery Owner

Edrington Group

Distillery Website


The distillery is licensed to Alexander Reid under the name Elchies Distillery.


Alexander Reid passes away and James Shearer Priest and James Davidson take over.


James Stuart takes over the licence. He founds Glen Spey distillery a decade later.


Stuart sells the distillery to Roderick Kemp from Elgin who has previously worked at and been part-owner of Talisker. Kemp expands the distillery and names it Macallan-Glenlivet.


James Stuart buys the distillery.


Roderick Kemp passes away and the Roderick Kemp Trust is established to secure the family’s future ownership.


The number of stills is increased from six to twelve.


The trust is reformed as a private limited company.


The company is introduced on the London Stock Exchange.


The number of stills is increased to 18.


Another three stills are added, now making the total 21.


Allan Schiach, descendant of Roderick Kemp, becomes the new chairman of the board after Peter Schiach.


The name changes to Macallan and a large launch campaign takes place in the UK.


The first official 18 year old single malt is launched.


Japanese Suntory buys 25% of Macallan-Glenlivet plc stocks.


Highland Distilleries buys the remaining stocks and terminate the Kemp family’s influence on Macallan. 11,000 bottles of 1874 Replica are launched.


Edrington and William Grant & Sons buys Highland Distilleries (where Edrington, Suntory and Remy-Cointreau already are shareholders) for £601 million. They form the 1887 Company which owns Highland Distilleries with 70% held by Edrington and 30% by William Grant & Sons (excepting the 25% share held by Suntory).


The first single cask from Macallan (1981) is named Exceptional 1.


A new visitor centre is opened and 1861 Replica (17,400 bottles) are introduced.


Macallan Elegancia replaces Macallan 12 years in the duty-free assortment. 1841 Replica, Exceptional II and Exceptional III, from 1980, are also launched during the year.


1876 Replica (19,800 bottles) and Exceptional IV, single cask from 1990 (864 bottles) are launched.


Exceptional V, single cask from 1989 (858 bottles) is launched as well as Exceptional VI, single cask from 1990 (816 bottles). The Fine Oak series is launched and Macallan 18 years old takes first place in Whisky Magazine’s ‘Best Malts of the World’.


New expressions are Macallan Woodland Estate, Winter Edition and the 50 year old.


Fine Oak 17 years old and Vintage 1975 are launched.


1851 Inspiration and Whisky Maker´s Selection are released as a part of the Travel Retail range. 12 year old Gran Reserva is launched in Taiwan and Japan.


Estate Oak and 55 year old Lalique are released.

Reproduced from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009 with the kind permission of Mr Ingvar Ronde

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Superlative Speysider from Macallan, this astonishing 25 year old is one of the most revered whiskies in the world. It received a perfect 100 out of 100 score from the Beverage Testing Institute in...  More info
User Rating:  (20 Reviews)
A rare, well aged whisky from Macallan. This 30 year old Speyside was matured in a mix of specially selected European and American oak casks.  More info
User Rating:  (6 Reviews)
A 10 year old from the Macallan matured in sherry casks. Macallan uses only Golden Promise barley, and actually use up 90% of the annual crop of Golden Promise in Scotland!  More info
User Rating:  (11 Reviews)
A sherry wood matured 12 year old from Macallan, a superbly balanced affair, one of the best of its age group.  More info
User Rating:  (54 Reviews)
Launched for the travel retail market, this stunning Macallan is made in sherry-seasoned hoggies and is bottled at 80 UK proof. Very tasty stuff from the 1824 Collection.  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
The third darkest and third most expensive bottling in the no age statement, sherry matured 1824 Series from The Macallan. Sienna is a naturally occuring pigment, referring not only to the hue of this...  More info
User Rating:  (18 Reviews)
From Macallan's Travel Retail Range - The 1824 Collection - comes this lovely whisky aged in American oak seasoned with either sherry or bourbon, and first fill European oak sherry casks. Delightful.  More info
User Rating:  (25 Reviews)
The jewel in the crown of The Macallan's 1824 Series is erm, a Ruby! With the darkest hue in a no age statement range where colour is king, Ruby has spent the longest time in only the very finest...  More info
User Rating:  (8 Reviews)
This 10 year old from Macallan was matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks.  More info
User Rating:  (29 Reviews)
This is the new no-age-statement Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the famous Speyside distillery of Macallan. Macallan's new range has done away with age-statements and instead focuses on the colour of...  More info
User Rating:  (81 Reviews)
Amber is part of The Macallan's new no age statement range of Speyside single malts, which concentrates on colour. The theory is that by using 100% sherry casks and natural colour, the darker the...  More info
User Rating:  (29 Reviews)
The Macallan Rare Cask single malt Scotch whisky was introduced to the UK in mid 2015, after being launched in the US in late 2014. It's comprised of whiskies drawn from 16 different Sherry cask...  More info
Part of the Fine Oak range from the Macallan distillery in Speyside, this 21 year old is a marriage of both bourbon and sherry matured whisky.  More info
From Gordon & MacPhail's Speymalt range of independently bottled Macallan single malts comes... Well, a Macallan single malt! It was distilled in 2005 and matured in oak until 2014, when it was...  More info
A Gleann Mór bottling of 24 year old Macallan single malt! Matured in a single cask (cask number #17748, since you asked) from September 1989 to May 2014, this scrumptious Speysider has taken on notes...  More info
Independently bottled for the Mackillop's Choice range, this single cask Macallan was matured for 21 years. It was distilled in October 1992 and left to age in a Sherry cask until September 2014, when...  More info
This lovely expression was launched by Macallan in 2010 and is bottled at a slightly higher-than-usual strength, and it was aged in a mix of sherry and bourbon wood. Lovely stuff.  More info
A 1995 vintage Macallan single malt Scotch whisky, bottled for the Speymalt range by Gordon & MacPhail in 2014. A gorgeous range, showing off many vintage of gorgeous Macallan whisky - what a treat!  More info
Macallan's Masters of Photography series grows once more. For this edition, famous fashion photographer Mario Testino has produced four prints of a classy party, each subtly focussing on a different...  More info
Print 22 from The Macallan's fourth Masters of Photography project features a pretty happy dog at the Pets Parade during the Aberlour Highland Games. This Elliott Erwitt photo has been paired with a...  More info
A rare, 44 year old single malt from the Macallan distillery, distilled in 1950 and bottled in 1994 under Gordon and MacPhail's Speymalt range.  More info
285 bottles were bottled from a single cask of Macallan for this collectable whisky from these Speyside giants. Photographer Annie Leibovitz made collectable prints of photos she took of actor Kevin...  More info
The fifth edition of Macallan's Masters of Photography features the work of Mario Testino, the esteemed fashion photographer. For the series, he's created four different prints of an elegant party...  More info
Well-known fashion photographer Mario Testino is Macallan's fifth Master of Photography (previous Masters of Photography include Elliott Erwitt, Annie Leibovitz, Rankin and Albert Watson). For his...  More info
For the fifth edition of Macallan's Masters of Photography series, renowned fashion photographer Mario Testino has produced four fantastic prints, each slightly different and each with a focus on a...  More info
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