Macallan will release a special edition of their Red Collection via Sotheby’s auction house to raise money for charity
An extremely rare, complete set of The Red Collection is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in London on 31 October 2020, after being gifted by The Macallan to City Harvest to raise funds for the food charity which redistributes surplus from the food industry to vulnerable people across London. Estimated at £ 200,000-800,000, the unique lot will open Sotheby’s first annual sale of Spirits to fall on day that Halloween is celebrated around the world, The Ultimate Whisky Collection Part II + More.
This set differs from the standard release and can be identified by its exclusive labels, which are illustrated and signed by Spanish artist Javi Aznarez. Only two sets contain these labels: Set # 1 will remain in The Macallan’s archives and Set # 2 is being presented in the Sotheby’s auction – as such, it is the only complete set of its kind to be made available to collectors around the world. The Sotheby’s set also uniquely includes two exclusive display cases and two bespoke tables.
Inspired by the significance of the color red throughout the history of the brand, The Red Collection captures The Macallan’s deep respect for tradition and craftsmanship. Distilled decades ago, in The Macallan’s signature copper stills, each expression in the collection has been matured in the distillery’s oak casks under the watchful eye of several generations of whiskey makers. Over time, they developed into extraordinarily elegant aged whiskys.
The color red has deep and long-standing significance for The Macallan, beginning with Alexander Reid, the farmer and teacher who founded The Macallan in 1824, whose surname means ‘the red one’ in Scots and was originally associated with red hair. In 1903, owner Roderick Kemp launched The Macallan Choice Old range, which was reportedly shipped in cases labeled with distinctive red print to distinguish it from The Macallan’s existing whiskys, which featured black labeling. Almost eight decades later, in 1980, red was to feature strongly in the release of The Macallan’s then oldest vintages, dated 1938, 1940 and 1950. Allan Shiach, chairman of The Macallan at that time, tied a red ribbon around the sought-after bottlings to denote their age and value.
These three characters are featured in an animated film created to introduce The Red Collection in collaboration with Javi Aznarez, acclaimed for his striking graphic art which has featured in several films, including director Wes Anderson’s forthcoming feature, The French Dispatch. The animation is set to music recorded by Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the most sought-after classical musicians of her generation.
Each bottle in The Red Collection is encased in a hand-crafted oak presentation box created from the same sustainable European oak used to craft The Macallan’s oak casks. These boxes are beautifully upholstered with sustainably sourced soft red leather from Scottish supplier Bridge of Weir Leather, which creates upholstery for leading luxury car brands across the globe.
Three of the bottles in the collection are also hand-signed by Kirsteen Campbell, who was appointed Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan in 2019 – the first woman to occupy the role in the history of the brand. The remaining three bottles – The Macallan 71 Years Old, The Macallan 74 Years Old and The Macallan 78 Years Old – are hand-signed by Sarah Burgess, Lead Whisky Maker for The Macallan.
Although it is exactly the same whisky in this edition of the Red Collection as the regular one, this collection will be sold for much more. Given the label made by Javi Aznarez and also because there are only two editions one that Macallan keeps which means there will only be one available to the market.