Inspiration for a new whisky can come from many places, and The Macallan Concept No. 1 is perhaps a little different.
The first release in a new limited edition series, exclusive to travellers, is inspired by surreal art, celebrating the world’s visionaries by daring to disrupt the whisky making process.
Created from whiskies matured first in sherry-seasoned oak casks and then in ex-bourbon casks, this whisky explores maturation more imaginatively. The unusual double-maturation process delivers a very different and truly memorable expression of The Macallan.
A spokesman said: ‘History is marked by disruptive ideas and innovations, deliberate choices to deviate from the status quo, to turn from the regular and question what’s taken for granted.
‘These moments and movements are manifested in all spheres and industries, from art and design to technology and engineering. We have chosen to embrace this concept of positive disruption by creating a single malt whisky inspired by the world of surreal art and incorporating innovative production techniques.
‘Traditionally, double-matured whisky is first matured in former bourbon barrels before being finished for a shorter period of time in sherry-seasoned casks. We chose to go against the norm by maturing in sherry-seasoned oak casks and then in first fill American bourbon barrels for an equal amount of time to create an exciting new flavour profile.
‘As up to 80% of the whisky’s character and flavour comes from the wood, this represents an innovative decision to push the tradition-bound limits of whisky-making.
‘This unconventional maturation process gives The Macallan Concept No. 1 an extra sweetness and delicacy on top of the dried fruit flavours regularly found in sherry-seasoned oak cask maturations.
‘Furthermore, we chose to give total freedom and flexibility to our whisky making team in choosing the casks, and not be constrained or defined by age in crafting this whisky. Time and maturity was leveraged to elevate the flavour and colour of the whisky, and celebrate both the art and mastery involved.’
The illustrations on the bottle label and packaging were created by French surreal artist Albane Simon, envisioned through the lens of The Macallan Six Pillars. Just as the Surrealist movement sought to challenge reason and rationality by unveiling contradictions in the everyday, this series presents a world reimagined.
This interpretation of the surreal brings together imagination and idealism to create a fantastical, sensorial world of whisky where anything and everything is possible.
Nick Savage, master distiller at The Macallan, said: ‘The Macallan Concept No. 1 makes manifest our continuous search for excellence – one that pushes beyond the traditional boundaries of process and cask selection.
‘The knowledge and skills involved in creating this bold and exceptional single malt demonstrate The Macallan’s dedication to pursuing excellence and offering new experiences. It also reflects the unrivalled commitment to the mastery of wood and spirit for which The Macallan has been known since its establishment almost 200 years ago.
‘We have chosen to embrace this concept of positive disruption by creating a single malt whisky inspired by the world of surreal art and incorporating innovative production techniques. Created from whiskies matured first in sherry-seasoned oak casks and then for an equal time in ex-bourbon casks, The Macallan Concept No. 1 is crafted to explore maturation more imaginatively.’
The Macallan Concept No. 1 is now available exclusively from Dubai Duty Free, and airports globally from January 2019 onwards.