Yeah, the Rolls Royce of Scotch Whisky according to the great Mr. Jackson. And I do agree, mainly because I grew up with it. Macallan was so popular here in Italy in the 80’s, it had a national TV commercial going for years, you could find the 7yo in ANY bar, you could find the 10 and 12yo in MOST bars and the 18yo and 25yo in most restaurants.
I remember once, we used to buy 25yo “coffins” as we called them, by the dozens to give to clients for Christmas as a present (sigh) and they were very cheap, one time end of the summer I think 1991 one of the regional importers was so fed up with the riviera’s discotheques not settling the payments, basically in september the disco owners would just close up and leave without paying the distributor for the booze, and so he called my father and me into his warehouse and asked us if we would be so kind to buy off all the remaining stock of Macallan for 150.000.000 Lire. That is 75.000 euro approximately.
The amount of Macallan offered can only be described by what can be contained in an area about 30 meters long, 3 meters high, pallet on pallet on both sides of the hallway. I suspect there were about 15.000 bottles of Macallan of all vintages. At a cost of about 10000 lira (little more than 5 euro) per bottle we said…. no thanks. (Don’t do it, whatever you’re thinking of right now i have already done it to myself…). Having a collection back then meant having a cabinet with all available vintages lined up, and what would we have done with 15.000 bottles?? Well some ideas spring to mind now, but back then it was just crazy.
In any case, as I was saying I grew up with it, maybe that is why I still prefer it to other speysiders (although not to well made peat/sherry Islayers). The taste of the metal cap 1Ltr. 12yo, was like breaking a chestnut open, we would stick one in the car and go dancing, and by the end of the night it was gone, yeah not very PC right now but back then it made sense. In the discos it was “mac and coke” with ice all night, try it once, but careful it is refreshing and addicting!
It was a sad day for me, and a lot of my countrymen, when we saw the “new style” Macallan bottle, the one that looks like it got stuck headfirst into a vice, the simple rough paper label was gone and so was the mahogany hue we loved so much, and sadly the taste, that too was gone. I find the last 7yo (the Maxxium one) to be so soapy it belongs in a shower cabinet, not a whisky one.
So keep your stash, if you can afford it, don’t fall for the easy money it now fetches, because it’s a taste long gone and no money can bring it back!