"The Macallan 1861 has been created as a replica of the style, nose and flavour of an original bottle of The Macallan, distilled in 1861."
Can anyone explain how anyone today can possibly know what an 1861 Macallan tasted like?
And why no age statement on the bottle? Lots of young whiskies in there. presumably?
Note that this "no-age" Macallan retails at UK£100 - four times the price of the Mac 10 yo, and more than 3 times the price of the Mac 12 yo.
Nice packaging though. Very 1980s...
But allegedly bottled by John McWilliam of Craigellachie - supposedly a shopkeeper. But no one has been able to find any record of the existence of his shop in the village in the 19th century.
And Macallan have yet to reveal evidence that they ever sold any whisky to this character.
So I was just wondering - how can anyone know what an 1861 Macallan tasted like!
And why should anyone be daft enough to pay UK£100 for a no-age Mac, when you can get a perfectly good 10 yo for Uk£20?
I can't answer your first question, but an indication for your second question: I spoke to one who had tasted the 1861 Replica. His opinion:
'When bought, this is a bottle never to be opened!'
He could not say anything positive about the taste. In his opinion, the contents did not justify the high price, and it only should be bought as a collectable. He likes the MacAllan though, so I guess the Replica will only be bought by collectors.
I think the question here is, do we all believe that?
I still O U some questions, but I'm very busy. However I have a Replica 1861 too at home, and a friend of mine has a 1841 Replica of Macallan, wich we will compare those two, some time later on. How they where able to taste such a real 1861, well it was a very expensive sample they took from a real 1861, and they where quite pleased and surprised at the quality it showed them. So they brought the sample to the laboratries to investigate what aroma's could be detected, and the search for the replica had begun. What they did was sample all their casks who came quite close to the aroma criteria, and so there was abeginning of a replica. About the age, that's hard to say, I believe they majority will be between 10 til 13Y old and perhaps some older ages where used. About the price, Exclisivity, Expensive sampling, All the hard work, Some older ages, A marketing gimmick etc. well there you have it all the ingredïents for quite a high price. Well it's either you pay a 100 GBP for it, or not, it depends on what you want etc. and what you are willing to pay for it...
I don't accept the "replica" part of this yet, as Mac still refuse to offer any proof as to the provenance of the "original" McWilliam product.
In addition, I don't see how you could recreate the character of a Macallan distilled in 1861 using recent Mac stocks - the character of whiskies made around Speyside in the mid-19th century must be vastly different than anything made in the last 10-12 years, owing to higher peating levels, higher levels of impurities, differences in the character of the malt used, vast differences in the ability to control the distilling process and remove impurities, etc etc.
The Replicant sounds to me like an expensive gimmick packaged with some spurious pseudo-history.
But I agree if it *tastes* like it's worth UK£100, then of course it is, no matter the marketing bs. Does anyone else think it's worth it?
I'm quite sure that buying 25y and 30y is no mistake.
Firstly, I heared great things about them, and secondly, they were distilled in the 70's(or even earlier), the years I like for the 18y.
Old MacPhail bottlings were actually MacAllan. Sampled once a glass of a late 60's/70's distillate. So similar to yours but bottled at a much younger age.
It really looks like you're going to enjoy some memorable whisky!
I had Macallan 10 yr old just the other week. As I wasn't born until 1974, I can't comment on the older stuff but the 10 yr old is fantastic.
I also had some Macallan 12 yr old last year in Holland and it was excellent. It settles the question, with water or without? With a funnel or without, more like.
G&M never officially disclosed the provenance of their Glen Avon or MacPhail's bottlings, only that is was a Speyside. Of MacPhails is known that it could contain different malts, depending on when it was bottled. I sampled MacPhail's from MacAllan once. Currently I only know they bottle MacAllan under their Speymalt label.
what about the re-creation of the traveller series? From twenties to fifties, four expressions recreated in half litre bottles for only €35. That's worth a try. How come the 1861 replica is so much more expensive?
If they are so into re-creating at MacAllan, please let them re-create the taste of the 12y so many people cherish but can not find any longer...
I don't doubt you had Glenfarclas in your MacPhail's.
The sample I tasted was from some strange old inventory that turned up again. I remember normal, magnum, half, square and small hip sized bottles, at different ages. These were not for sale anymore. I was told they were MacAllan and I recognised some characteristics from an odd 12y OB MacAllan I have. That is a 1 litre bottle and it appeared later is was a dutyfree bottling for Hong Kong. The box and bottle were turned brown and dirty, but it was the best 12y MacAllan I ever tasted. If MacAllan will re-create this taste again and sell it for the price of a 12y, I'll be a big MacAllan fan again.
[This message has been edited by Rudy (edited 19 April 2003).]
In other words, you appeal to the perceptions of the customers, to their emotional response, to the way that using or consumimng the producty makes them feel - and so the packaging, the image, the price all are used to create an impression that you are a pretty cool dude if you use/consume the product.
For instance, I was recently at a factory in Sweden which was producing a new mens toiletry for a world famous brand. The key problem they faced was coming up with packaging that would persuade customers at the point of sale that they were buying a top quality product. They told us that producing the product cost 35 US cents. A year later I saw the product in a drug store in New York priced at $US 12.95.
And to demonstrate the quirkiness of human nature you can, of course, buy a Parker ballpoint pen for a few dollars - or you can buy one for hundreds of dollars, you pay your money you take your choice. But the refill, the component that actually writes, is precisely the same. Some of us would go for the cheap packaging, some for the expensive - that's what free choice is all about.
So you cannot blame the Macallan for using smoke and mirrors to convince people that they have faithfully replicated an extremely old whisky and thay it is worth an arm and a leg. It is not Macallan's fault if people are stupid enough to fall for the hype.
The rest of us can either stick to one of the more recent Macallans, or if we feel strongly that the Macallan have lost the thread we can buy another brand.
I tried the 1861 and thought it was excellent. I certainly found that there were elements that are absent from the 10 or 12 year old. I seem to recall Jackson finding "spice cupboard" notes, and I agree. There is an "Oriental" or "Middle Eastern" flavour which I loved. Rich and complex.
Now as to the price........
Some have you feel that this is overpriced, and I agree. The lack of an age statement is troubling, although perhaps Macallan wanted to lend a "timeless" feeling to this product. That is, the original 1861 didn't have a statment, so they were trying to be "authentic". Having said that, one wonders if the odd 5 or 6 year old cask found its way into the vatting. Additionally, could some expense have been spared if the elaborate packaging had been abandoned? I think so.
An excellent product, but never worth the money. And as someone pointed out, aimed squarely at the collector market, which is a shame.
And Alan - it grieves me greatly to hear that the 1861 Macallan is not worth the money. But think how much you would have complained if you had been daft enough to buy the "original"!
At the risk of sounding pompous, my advice to all would be - stick to a brand with a track record for integrity.
[This message has been edited by old rarity (edited 17 May 2003).]
Well Iain, I never meant to cause you no pain. I'm simply talking about value, and meant no disrespect to the product itself. As Old Rarity states, all the expressions of Macallan, without exception, represent the highest achievement of the distiller's art.
To suggest, as Huurman does, that the cost of the 1861 Replica is a reflection of "expensive sampling..[and]..hard work" is, at the risk of sounding patronizing, naive. Any costs incurred would easily be made up by sales. There is just as much sampling and blending involved in producing the 12 year old. Remember that they used existing casks to create the replica. Additionally, we don't even know if their "experiment" was successfull.
Again, I think that the 1861 Replica is excellent. But for whisky that is probably 10-12 years old, one hundred pounds is too much.
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