Macallan’s latest release is one that's for collectors only: A 25-year-old bottling vintage dated 1991 that will cost you $10,000. The Fine & Rare program is the brand’s answer to what bourbon lovers know as a single-barrel program. Over the years they’ve collected a staggering range of rare and unique barrels under the banner — releases dating back to the 1920s, bottled at 30 years of age or more.
But to call 1991 a 25-year-old whisky is to devalue it in context. Macallan does make a 25-year-old sherry cask bottle, and that sells typically for around $1,400.
But this Fine and Rare release is higher-grade stuff. Whisky broker and CEO of The Whisky Isle Nicholas Pollacchi put this in context for us: “Macallan is the most collectible scotch whisky in the world,” he says, “and Fine and Rare is the crown jewel for the brand.” According to Pollacchi, the Fine and Rare collection in total would be worth millions at auction, and if you’re such a collector, every bottle from the collection is a necessity in preserving value. “It’s baseball cards,” he explains. “You don’t want to have the 1920 Yankees and be missing someone.”
Which player best exemplifies this 1991 bottling is up to you. But the good news is, like a baseball card, new Fine and Rare releases share a lot of stats. 1991 is cask no. 7021, “an American oak Vasyma puncheon sherry seasoned in Jerez, Spain.” It was selected by Macallan’s Master Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno. The cask was filled on March 28, 1991, and has been bottled at 49.4% ABV.
Manager of Brand Education and Fine & Rare Whiskies Charlie Whitfield said in a press release, “We are proud that since the very first release of the 1926 Fine & Rare that this collection of vintage single malts has come to stand for the best in the industry, commanding worldwide acclaim and admiration from single-malt enthusiasts. The soft and refined velvety sweetness of this 25-year-old vintage will not disappoint.”
If you are planning to consume this bottle (at $400 an ounce, we were unfortunately not privy to the experience), Macallan says the whisky is a deep cinnamon color, with aromas of apple, dried fruit, ginger, and nutmeg. If you do get to drink it, expect a sweet, spicy whisky with notes of raisin and fig — and a prevalent, velvety oak character.
Since most of these bottles won’t end up staying around for long if they hit retailers at all, Macallan suggests emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to track one down.