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5 Macallan Scotch Whiskies For 5 Different Budgets

 

Everybody wants a piece of Macallan. The Speyside scotch whisky brand is considered the pinnacle of luxury whisky, with new bottlings selling out in seconds and old bottles breaking world records. 

Of course, most of us don’t have $2.6 million in our back pockets to purchase a 1926 60 Year Old. However, over its history, Macallan has released a high number of bottlings, with indie bottlers also getting stuck in. The wide variety of bottlings available range from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds at auction. 

So, which Macallan whiskies can you buy at different price points? Here are five Macallan scotch whiskies for five different budgets, all available on The Whiskey Wash Shop

1. Macallan 15 Year Old Fine Oak Triple Cask Matured  

Macallan 15 Year Old Fine Oak Triple Cask Matured

BUY NOW: $389 

Starting at the lower end of the scale, we have the Macallan 15 Year Old Fine Oak Triple Cask Matured. 

Macallan unveiled a packaging redesign in 2008, revamping the Fine Oak series, which had been part of the brand’s portfolio since 2004. This redesign introduced the three golden barrels on the label that are indicative of a triple cask matured expression. It was also the introduction of the half-blue, half-white labels. 

Just like the previous incarnation, this redesign stuck around for only four years before another redesign in 2012. 

The Fine Oak series was rebranded as ‘Triple Cask’ in 2018, although this too is now discontinued. As such, the only 15 year old currently available from Macallan is from the Double Cask series. 

This 15 Year Old Fine Oak Triple Cask Matured is, therefore, something of a snapshot of Macallan just prior to its luxury rebrand in 2018. Fine Oak and Triple Cask expressions are no more. 

The Macallan brand has undergone a litany of changes in recent years, and there is something nostalgic about a bottle that was produced on the cusp of an industry-defining change. 

2. Macallan 1990 18 Year Old The Paulsen Collection 

Macallan 1990 18 Year Old The Paulsen Collection

BUY NOW: $608

Now this is a Macallan that you won’t see on supermarket shelves. Nor will it come up at auction very often. This unusual bottle is the Macallan 1990 18 Year Old The Paulsen Collection. 

Not only is this bottle elusive, it is unusual in terms of how the whisky was matured. The spirit initially matured in ex-bourbon before being finished in Italian Amarone wine casks.. 

The whisky was bottled by independent bottler, Murray McDavid, for The Paulsen Collection. The collection is named for Frederik Paulsen, who is best known for his 21st-century exploration – Paulsen was one of the first men to cross the Bering Straight in an ultralight aircraft, along with his traveling companion François Bernard. In addition to this, in 2013 he became the first man to have explored all eight of Earth’s poles. Amongst these achievements, Paulsen is also a whisky connoisseur. Each whisky in the collection was personally approved by him before bottling. 

Not only is this Macallan an experiment in cask finishing, but it is also single-cask. As any fan will know, single-cask Macallan is extremely rare. 

3. Macallan 10 Year Old Cask Strength

Macallan 10 Year Old Cask Strength

BUY NOW: $2,597 

Next on our list is the classic, but sadly discontinued, Macallan 10 Year Old Cask Strength. These expressions were bottled between the 1990s and the early 2010s, and are one of the earliest examples of cask-strength Macallan on the market. Cask-strength Macallan remains incredibly scarce today, with most official examples coming from limited releases such as the Macallan Exceptional Cask series. 

As another example of an early Macallan bottling, this too calls back to a time before Macallan was globally famous. It is an understated yet classic example of cask-strength Macallan whisky. 

Yes, it is over $2,000 more expensive than the 15 Year Old Fine Oak, which might seem to defy logic. However, this Macallan is older, rarer, and (once again) it is cask strength

This is a great bottle to add to your Macallan collection if you are into the classics. 

4. Macallan 1996 17 Year Old Easter Elchies 

Macallan 1996 17 Year Old Easter Elchies

BUY NOW: $5,201 

As I have already mentioned, single-cask, cask-strength Macallan is exceedingly rare, with collectors across the globe vying for bottlings every time they appear at auction. Usually, these bottlings are part of limited collections. One such collection is the Macallan Easter Elchies Cask Strength Selection series. 

In today’s market, of which Macallan is undoubtedly King, the distillery can release no-age-statement (NAS) whiskies with a high price tag and they will sell out almost immediately. These NAS whiskies can constitute a vatting of several different casks, and can even be watered down to reduce ABV and increase supply – they do not need to use high-age-statement or exclusive casks to make a profit. 

In addition to this, the brand has a global audience, meaning that releasing bottlings in bigger batches makes more financial sense than releasing limited bottlings. 

The above factors mean that the chance to purchase single-cask, cask-strength Macallan does not come around very often. If you are looking to get your hands on one, this 1996 17 Year Old Easter Elchies is the perfect opportunity. As does this Macallan 1999 13 Year Old Easter Elchies

There are six bottles in the Easter Elchies Selection in total. If you fancy a challenge, why not try to build a vertical? 

5. Macallan 30 Year Old Sherry Oak 1990s

Macallan 30 Year Old Sherry Oak 1990s-2000s

BUY NOW: $12,986 

The secondary market for whisky bottles is driven by three key factors: age, scarcity, and brand. This 30 Year Old Sherry Oak has all three and is an icon of 1990s Macallan. 

At the top end of our list today is the original Macallan 30 Year Old. This whisky was bottled between the late 1990s and 2002, when Macallan underwent a rebrand. This limited run means that these bottlings are very scarce on the secondary market. Again, released before whisky was considered a luxury asset, many of these will have been opened and drunk upon purchase, meaning that the number of bottlings on the market has gotten significantly smaller over the years. As such, those who purchased a bottle back in the 2000s have seen astonishing returns on their investment. 

The Macallan 30 Year Old has undergone several packaging changes over the years, as is outlined here. Fine Oaks, Triple Casks, and Double Casks have graced the market. However, this 30 Year Old remains the most sought-after of all. 

A bottle of this caliber is an ultimate addition to any whisky collection.

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