For those that have been closely following, and purchasing Macallan’s Edition series from the start, you’d either be pinching yourself for not stocking up, or congratulating yourself for buying a case. While not the rarest of bottles – prices are nowhere near, say a Karuizawa – the experimental, no-age-statement series from Macallan has become a cult spirit in its own right.
In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find bottles of the Edition No. 1 today, which price has shot up between 8 to 10 times of its original retail price in the low hundreds. Of course, whisky is meant to be enjoyed (like with toy collectors, the idea is always to buy more than one – the first bottle should be drunk), but it doesn’t hurt to have a couple extras sitting around.
For Macallan, each edition has been a chance for the distiller to explore a spirit created outside the confines of its house style:
Edition No.1: Whisky matured in 8 different casks.
Edition No. 2: Collaboration with the Roca brothers (of El Cellar de Can Roca fame)
Edition No. 3: Collaboration with Master Perfumer Roja Dove.
Edition No. 4: Created to showcase the “structure” of the house style and in celebration of the then-new Macallan distillery
Each Edition number has since officially gone out of stock, and can only be purchased from resellers or distributors that still have stock – at a premium of course.
Now, there’s Edition No. 5, – perhaps the most rarefied concept yet – which celebrates the whisky’s “natural colour”. While not a direct, synesthetic experience, colour is generally a good gauge of how much flavour a whisky has taken from the wooden barrels it’s rested it.
To create the Edition No. 5, the whisky is aged in American oak casks to create a “sunlit barley” colour with corresponding tasting notes of “caramel, fresh fruit, and oak spices”. As if a separate bottling was not enough commitment to the concept, the purple label on the No. 5 was created in collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute.
“As the rainbow’s most complex colour, purple naturally felt like the ideal shade to highlight the equally complex process involved in The Macallan’s whisky-making…” Explains Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute.
The Macallan Edition No. 5 drops 15 October, so start making space in your cellars and dry cabinets. No word if you’ll be tasting the rainbow, but going by the previous drams in the series – it’s one worth checking out.
Keep up to date with the release of the Macallan Edition No.5 here. The launch event will also feature artists Lucinda Law and John Lim from This Humid House.